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Back to school

What better way to mark the start of the school year than by reading about school? Four new books for elementary-age kids (two picture books and two chapter books) all involve classroom adventures, whether the setting is a one-room schoolhouse, the protagonist is a baked good, or the lessons learned reach beyond report cards. For […]

Notes from the Horn Book – September 2011


Notes from the Horn Book — September 2011. Our monthly newsletter for teachers and parents. In this issue: Five questions for Leo Landry, Back to school, Size matters in picture books, Illustrated middle-grade fiction, YA historical fiction (and one biography), From the Editor

Illustrated middle-grade fiction

The continuation of a popular comic novel series, new work from a Caldecott Medal winner, and a novel about the 1950s Soviet Union — three new illustrated novels feature compelling stories not only for proficient middle-grade readers but for reluctant ones, as well. With the art doing as much to advance the plot as the […]

From the editor

As I write, Kitty Flynn and Lolly Robinson, along with our web team in New York, are busy readying a revamped Go take a look. There’s some neat new stuff there, including some children’s book satire inspired by Project Runway and an interview by Leonard Marcus with Maurice Sendak about the great artist’s new […]

YA historical fiction (and one biography)

Nazi Germany, ancient Egypt, and 1893 New York City are the settings for new historical novels for teens, while a biography of Dickens takes readers to Victorian London. In 1936 Berlin, Karl Stern is surprised when he’s beaten up by Nazi bullies: he’s blond and fair-skinned, and he and his family aren’t observant Jews. Then […]

Size matters in picture books

Caterpillar or tadpole, “little bitty man” or “little little girl,” the diminutive characters of these new picture books have big adventures — proving that what they lack in size, they make up in personality. The pond gets crowded when Ken Kimura’s 999 Tadpoles transform into 999 frogs, but relocation is hazardous: a hungry hawk nabs […]

Books mentioned in Sep. 2011 Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Leo Landry    • Grin and Bear It by Leo Landry, Charlesbridge, 5–7 years. • Space Boy and Eat Your Peas, Ivy Louise! both by Leo Landry, Houghton, 4–8 years. • Fat Bat and Swoop and Sea Surprise both by Leo Landry, Holt, 5–7 years. • The Green Queen by Nick Sharratt, Candlewick, 4–8 years. • […]

Five questions for Leo Landry


Author-illustrator Leo Landry, a twenty-year bookselling veteran of The Children’s Book Shop in Brookline, Massachusetts, is the creator of picture books (Space Boy; Eat Your Peas, Ivy Louise!), as well as chapter books (Fat Bat and Swoop; Sea Surprise); newly independent readers should line up for Grin and Bear It, his latest offering. In this […]

Fireboat and The Man Who Walked Between the Towers


Back in 2003 and again in 2004, picture books featuring the Twin Towers were honored with Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards. To mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, we’ve posted  Maira Kalman‘s and Mordicai Gerstein‘s acceptance speeches, originally published, respectively, in the January/February 2004 and 2005 issues of The Horn Book Magazine.

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The Horn Book at Simmons

God, there’s a lot going on, and I haven’t even written my reviews yet. Katrina and Cathie Mercier and I have been finishing up the planning for this year’s Horn Book at Simmons colloquium. (When I am old and being interviewed by Leonard Marcus, if he asks “What did you learn at the Horn Book?” […]