That New Animal | Class #2 2015

that new animal

Here’s another picture book for our second class. There are lots of books out there that tackle an emotional issue in a heavy handed way. I’m not a fan of those books, but I love this one. What do you think? Does it accomplish its goal? Would it appeal to a child in a similar […]

There Is a Bird On Your Head | Class #2 2015


Mo Willems has become THE master of easy readers. With pre-book work including Sesame Street and animation, he had the perfect training to create child- and teacher-friendly easy readers. I think he deserves every one of his many awards. What do you notice in this deceptively simple book? What does he do with simple shapes […]

Ling and Ting | Class #2 2015

lin_ling & ting twice as silly

This is one of two early readers (a.k.a. easy readers) for our second class. At the end of class, we talked about the difference between picture books and easy readers. How well do you think this book works in the early reader genre? Clearly it’s for somewhat more fluent readers than the Elephant and Piggy […]

Picture This | Class #2 2015

picture this

Molly Bang‘s Picture This is her personal exploration as she works to analyze the emotional effects of art. Most illustrators go with their gut as they compose their pictures, but Molly wanted to see if there were some rules involved. An experienced illustrator, she says she began to understand art and composition better through this […]

Children’s lit class begins again


     The first day of my children’s lit class at Harvard Ed School will be this Thursday, Feb. 26. Once again, we are hoping you will all help us discuss our readings here on the blog. The students will be required to post comments (short ones, I hope!) and the more comments we can get […]

Mirror by Jeannie Baker | Class #1, 2015


Wordless books present an interesting challenge to adults who share them with children. Is there a right way to read them? There is a heated discussion about this going on in the comments to Megan Lambert’s recent post about The Farmer and the Clown. The great children’s literature specialist Rudine Sims Bishop has talked and […]

Where the Wild Things Are | Class #1 2015

Where the Wild Things Are

For our first class this year, we are again reading Where the Wild Things Are, a picture book that is now a classic, but was highly controversial in its day. It’s rare to find students who have never read Where the Wild Things Are, but every year there are a handful. For those who know […]

Youth Media Awards and teachers

tamaki_this one summer

I’ve been somewhat preoccupied this week since the ALA Youth Media Award announcements Monday morning. Here at the Horn Book, we swing into action putting up web posts with our reviews of the winning books. Over at my other blog, Calling Caldecott, the award announcement signals the beginning of the end of our blog season. […]

Caldecott Award live


The ALA Youth Media Awards will be announced tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. CT in Chicago (that’s 9 a.m. for Martha and me in Boston). Here is a link to the live webcast. Watching online is not quite the same as being in that huge ballroom full of book-loving early risers, fizzing with anticipation and […]

Calling Caldecott 2015 ballot #1 results


This is when it gets really exciting for Martha, Robin, and me. We had access to the secret link where we could see more and more votes come in yesterday. I stopped checking around 11 p.m. last night but got right back online at 6 a.m. If we count up the first-place votes, a total […]