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Five questions for Anne Quirk

Anne Quirk’s The Good Fight: The Feuds of the Founding Fathers (And How They Shaped the Nation) (Knopf, 10–14 years) highlights four sets of venerable opponents whose disputes helped set America’s path during its formative years. And just like its author — who was former publisher of The Horn Book — the book is smart, […]

“Choose Love…and Lemonade”

While thousands of people marched on Boston Common last Saturday, outside the main branch of the Cambridge Public Library, two third graders set up a lemonade stand with a twist. “Lemonade for Peace” was the brainchild of Declan Haley (right) with the help of his friend James Selvitella, assisted by their awesome moms Elizabeth and […]

Ramona + Sparrowboy = BFF

Who else imagines that these two would be friends? And maybe with him? And her! What other characters do you imagine as BFFs in Children’s Lit Land?

Board Book Roundup: Summer 2017 Edition

This column is part of a series of recommended board book roundups, formerly published twice a year, now published every season. You can find the previous installments here. Don’t miss Viki Ash’s primer “What Makes a Good Board Book?” from the March/April 2010 Horn Book Magazine. Alphabet Family Band by Sarah Jones Blue Manatee    18 […]

Dos and Don’ts of Writing Complex Teens…by an actual complex teen

As seen on Facebook: Friend of The Horn Book Christine M. Heppermann — author, poet, and mother of one most excellent teen Audrey Hinsdale (read her Family Reading post “My Own Discretion Advised”) — posted this advice from her daughter on the “Dos and Don’ts of Writing Complex Teens.”

OH! AH! WAAHOO! Concept books!

Learning about colors, numbers, sounds, and the ABCs can be a blast (“WAAHOO!”) with these concept books for preschoolers-and-up. Say Zoop!, the latest old-school interactive picture book by Hervé Tullet (author of Press Here), plays with sounds, primary colors, and creativity. The book begins: touch a small blue dot “and say a little oh!” Press […]

The Horn Book is a bunch of liars; or: YOU go the eff to sleep

Look, I love Goodnight Moon just as much as the next parent. The text’s gentle cadence and reassuring repetition. The play of light and shadow across the great green room. And that achingly beautiful and mysterious ending: “Goodnight stars / Goodnight air / Goodnight noises / Everywhere.” My children love it, too. They love filling […]

Summer’s here

Climbing trees, getting wet, having outdoor adventures. The following picture books capture the mood of summertime exploration and fun. Even though he’s warned to stay safely inside the icebox, the titular star of Ice Boy escapes to the outside (“Hello, world!”). He loves the outside with its beach and its sun…and he soon becomes Water […]

AJL 2017 in NYC

This year’s Association of Jewish Libraries conference was in NYC (don’t worry, I’ve already made all the bagel jokes). The conference was hosted by Hebrew Union College, in the vicinity of dynamic and confusing Greenwich Village, and the theme was “The Sky’s the Limit.” As a member of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards committee, I […]

American Revolution, NOT rich white men

Ms. Katie’s third-grade class sent home a note letting families know about their Revolutionary War project, a collection of essays titled History’s Unknown Heroes: Uncovering Massachusetts’s Revolutionary Heroes: In third grade, we were studying the American Revolution, and we noticed there were a lot of important people whose stories are not told that much. The […]