Subscribe to The Horn Book

Two books about emotions

sophie_afraid_jackets_

Normally our post title is the book’s title, but both of these together would be way too long: When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt by Molly Bang and I Used to Be Afraid by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. Both illustrators have won Caldecott honors in the past, but never the actual Medal. Could this be […]

Are you following Calling Caldecott?

huntsman_callingcaldecott_small

I hope so. If not, here’s the link. At this time of year — from Labor Day to the beginning of the American Library Association’s Midwinter conference — my blog attention is divided because I also write for Calling Caldecott, a mock Caldecott blog. I hope some of you teachers have tried mock Caldecotts in […]

Out of the Woods

Out of the Woods

As Martha could tell you, this post has been really difficult to write because I love this book so much and want to do it justice. Why hasn’t Rebecca Bond been on my radar? Well, now she is. Out of the Woods is a story first told by Bond’s grandfather about a forest fire he […]

The best-of-the-year lists have begun

The New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books

Teachers often ask how to keep up with the best new books. Good intentions are one thing, and real life (long days, class prep, paper grading) is another. For those with limited time, I recommend going online near the end of the year when children’s book review journals post their “best of the year” lists. […]

A tale of two Winnies

winniecovers

When I was on the Caldecott committee, we were strict about following the rule that said we couldn’t discuss books published in other years, even if we were tempted to compare a book to its creator’s previous titles. But we certainly DID compare similar nominated books. In our year there were several books with similar […]

Meet the Dullards

pennypacker_meet the dullards

Today we’re considering Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri. If you haven’t had a look at this book yet, do yourself a favor and go find it. It’s far from dull. As you can see from the cover, there’s something going on here between the text and the art similar to […]

The Grasshopper and the Ants

pinkney_grasshopper and the ants

The Grasshopper & the Ants adds another title to Jerry Pinkney’s growing set of books based on fables by Aesop and Andersen. Unlike his Caldecott-winning The Lion & the Mouse (2009), this title has text, except for an extended wordless sequence in the middle. But the Caldecott committee will not be comparing this to Pinkney’s […]

Review of Waiting

henkes_waiting

Waiting by Kevin Henkes; illus. by the author Preschool   Greenwillow   32 pp. 9/15   978-0-06-236843-0   $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-06-236844-7   $18.99   g Waiting is a huge part of every child’s life, and Henkes uses a light touch to address the topic. Five toys wait on a windowsill. An owl waits for the moon; a pig holding an […]

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

sarcone-roach_bear ate your sandwich

I wasn’t aware of Julia Sarcone-Roach until we reviewed  Subway Story back in 2010. What strikes most immediately about her art is the light. She achieves a luminous quality using opaque paint on paper that many watercolor artists would surely envy. According to the small print, she is using acrylics — a medium that can […]

How to find free and cheap books

freebooks_300x258

I just had an email from Samantha Song, a former student now teaching first grade in Somerville, MA, with a universal question that that I want to pass along to all of you. Here’s what she said: I’d like to pick your brain on an issue I’m having. I was a last minute hire and […]