Literature for children and young adults started to develop in Poland in the 1820s. Initially, it was the authors themselves (K. Hoffmanowa née-Tanska, S. Jachowicz) who undertook to carry out critical analyses of their works in periodicals they edited, but as time went by booksellers began to publish advertisements for upcoming books for young readers together with their reviews. The first serious reviewer of children literature was Ewaryst Estkowski who published his reviews in a periodical published in Poznan in the mid-1850s, called 'Szkola Polska' (Polish School). In the last quarter of the 19th century books for young readers were reviewed in renowned periodicals ('Ateneum', 'Rocznik Pedagogiczny' - Pedagogical Annual, 'Biblioteka Warszawska' - The Warsaw Library) by such distinguished writers as B. Prus, H. Sienkiewicz and M. Konopnicka. In the same period the publishers themselves (the Orgelbrands, Gebethner and Wolff, M. Arct) compiled special catalogues of books that could be given as rewards for good grades at school or as Christmas gifts. The catalogues usually contained short notes presenting recommended works. Much more valuable than ordinary booksellers catalogues were 'critical catalogues' and bibliographies containing lists of books for children and young adults. These served as relatively comprehensive guides to this type of literature. The present article analyses various catalogues of this kind, including those by Nowolecki, Kozubowski, Karlowicz, Dygasinski and Sliwka. Despite its shortcomings, the 19th century criticism of literature for young readers published in periodicals and booksellers catalogues greatly contributed to an increase of interest in this literature among Polish writers over the next century.