Mo Willems at the Eric Carle Museum

Eric Carle Museum2

My family spent the Fourth of July weekend vacationing in scenic (?) Springfield, MA. There’s a lot of kid-friendly stuff to do in the area*, and we were especially excited for a visit to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art to see the new exhibit “Seriously Silly: A Decade of Art & Whimsy […]

It’s time to play the (sexy) music


Watching old episodes of The Muppet Show with my three-year-old, I’m reminded of the Katy Perry Sesame Street scandal from a few years ago. Granted, Gonzo and the gang have always been more envelope-pushing than their daytime puppet counterparts, but it is nevertheless a little bit off-key-sounding to hear Kermit describe Raquel Welch as “sexy” […]

Let freedom ring

Becoming Ben Franklin

Patriotism can take many forms, from flag-waving to vocalized dissent. These books delve into the lives of American heroes and examine some not-so-proud moments in our history. Becoming Ben Franklin: How a Candle-Maker’s Son Helped Light the Flame of Liberty by Russell Freedman emphasizes Franklin’s growing belief in an independent and united Colonial government and […]

Mira and Tara: Jewish Indian tweens


We recently received two ARCs about twelve-year-old girls whose moms are Indian and whose dads are Jewish, a perspective not often found in children’s books. Mira Levenson (Mira in the Present Tense by Sita Brahmachari, Whitman, September 2013), a Brit, is “neither tall nor small, neither skinny nor ‘plumpy’…[with] long, dead-straight black hair, and dark […]

NYPL children’s book exhibit


The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter, an exciting new exhibit housed at the New York Public Library and curated by Friend-of-The-Horn-Book Leonard S. Marcus, opens today. Go see it and tell us what you think (so we can be jealous)! And look to the September/October 2013 Horn Book Magazine for Leonard’s article about […]

Book caravan

Book Caravan

Last week we received a permissions request from librarian Orty Ortwein to accompany his article on the Book Caravan, brainchild of Mother Horn Book Bertha Mahony Miller. It put us in a nostalgic mood, so here’s some more information about Horn Book history: articles about the Book Caravan, the Bookshop for Boys and Girls, and […]

What Makes a Good “Bad” Book?


Trashy books: they’re the ones that cause young patrons to avert their eyes from a librarian (or, better yet, use the self-scan) and hide the dust jackets from their parents. They almost always contain steamy stuff (sex, or at least lust) and, often, controlled substances (booze, drugs, human blood, poisoned donuts…). Wish-fulfillment is common; escapism […]

Reviews of books by Jaclyn Moriarty


Jaclyn Moriarty’s A Corner of White (Levine/Scholastic) is a 2013 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book winner. Here’s how The Horn Book has reviewed some of her other titles. Spoiler alert: We like them.  The Ghosts of Ashbury High by Jaclyn Moriarty High School     Levine/Scholastic     486 pp. 6/10     978-0-545-06972-4     $18.99     […]

Middle-grade family stories

The Thing About Luck

The thing about family is that it can be unpredictable. These four new books present families from different eras in all their unique and messy complexities. In Cynthia Kadohata’s funny but poignant The Thing About Luck, twelve-year-old narrator Summer lives with her brother, parents, and grandparents in contemporary Kansas. Her parents, who drive combines for […]

BGHB picture book day


We’re so excited about the 2013 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners and honorees that we wanted to give you more! Here’s Five Questions for Jonathan Bean, the 2013 BGHB Picture Book Award winner for Building Our House, from the January 2013 issue of Notes from the Horn Book. And here’s a question that Horn Book […]