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Review of Return

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Return by Aaron Becker; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 8/16    978-0-7636-7730-5    $15.99 This third, wordless installment (Journey, rev. 9/13; Quest, rev. 9/14) brings the story full circle, beginning and ending in the same city brownstone shown in the first book. While Return can be enjoyed on its own, fans will find rewarding […]

Review of The Sleeping Gypsy

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The Sleeping Gypsy by Mordicai Gerstein; illus. by the author Primary    Holiday    32 pp. 10/16    978-0-8234-2142-8    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3742-9    $16.95 Many of Henri Rousseau’s paintings appear to be telling a story, particularly The Sleeping Gypsy, which shows a woman sleeping on the desert sand with a mandolin on one side of her body and, […]

Questions from Molly Bang | Class #2, fall 2016

Picture This

We are looking forward to welcoming Molly Bang to our next class on October 19. One of the things that makes Molly unique as a guest speaker is that she likes her visits to be learning experiences — for herself. One year she focused on a book that she thought didn’t work very well. It […]

Picture books and easy readers | Class #2, fall 2016

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During our first class, we started to look at picture books. For our second class on October 19, we are adding easy readers into the mix. Here’s what we are reading and discussing: Two more picture books Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown That New Animal by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Pierre Pratt Two […]

Frank and Lucky Get Schooled

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In many of the books we look at for this blog, the illustrator has created virtuosic art that looks as if it required a lot of time and skill. Perkins, on the other hand, makes it look easy. As far as I can tell, all of Lynne Rae Perkins’s work has a feeling of improvisation and […]

Picture books | class #1, fall 2016

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For our first class on October 12, we will be reading two picture books and three articles. Where the Wild Things Are is a classic now, but when it was first published in 1963 it was controversial. If you knew this book as a child, what did you notice this time that you might not […]

Children’s lit class, fall 2016

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I’ve been teaching children’s lit in the spring for the past few years, but this year we’re changing to the fall semester. So I’m giving up having a nice break between the end of last year’s class and the start of this year’s, but I’m gaining a chance to hold our mock awards at the […]

Jazz Day

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It’s so exciting to see a book by a new illustrator that doesn’t look like anything that came before. It’s much more common to notice clear influences (Maurice Sendak, Quentin Blake, Leonard Weisgard…). In case you haven’t seen this book yet, it’s about that famous photo by Art Kane, “Harlem 1958,” showing fifty-seven jazz musicians […]

Happy birthday, dear Beatrix

art by Beatrix Potter

On this 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter‘s birth, I count myself lucky to have met a handful of people who knew her in her later years, when she was most decidedly not Beatrix Potter, but Mrs. William Heelis. By the time she married at age 47, she was beginning to put the “little books” behind […]

Bertha’s apartment

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I just discovered some new Horn Book history trivia. While putting away some papers that have been piling up, I found a printout of Horn Book founder Bertha Mahony’s March 12, 1924 passport. I’ve looked at it before, most recently when we needed to confirm her height (contemporaries’ accounts say she was under 5′, but […]