Interviews

Interviews with writers and illustrators of books for young people.

Five questions for Cynthia Leitich Smith

Cynthia_Leitich_Smith

Cynthia Leitich Smith’s urban fantasy series the Tantalize quartet did indeed tantalize readers with its vampire-themed eatery Sanguini’s: A Very Rare Restaurant (and, of course, the vampires and other supernatural beings involved therein). Her latest novel, Feral Curse (Candlewick, 13–16 years), is the second book in the Tantalize spinoff series Feral, which brings various species […]

Melissa Sweet on Firefly July

Melissa Sweet

In the March/April 2014 Horn Book Magazine, Mag assistant editor Cynthia Ritter asked Melissa Sweet about her creative process when illustrating Firefly July. Read the starred review here. Cynthia K. Ritter: Your visual interpretations of the seasonal poems in this collection are a mix of literal and symbolic. What was your artistic process like when […]

Five questions for Lois Ehlert

lois ehlert

Lois Ehlert started illustrating books in the 1960s and hit the big-time in 1989 with the now-classic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Simon, 2–5 years), written by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault, and Color Zoo (Lippincott, 2–5 years), which was given a Caldecott Honor. In 2006 she received the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Leaf […]

An Interview with Neal Porter

neal porter

Neal Porter launched his thirty-five-year-long publishing career in 1979 when he assumed the post of director of library services and academic sales at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, where William Steig, Maurice Sendak, and Madeleine L’Engle were among the brightest stars on an extraordinary list. Porter went on to hold editorial and executive positions at Macmillan, […]

Byron Barton on My Bus

byron barton

In the March/April 2014 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer K. T. Horning asked author/illustrator Byron Barton about My Bus, his latest transportation celebration. Read the starred review here. K. T. Horning: Joe from My Bus and Sam from My Car (Greenwillow, 2001) seem to lead parallel lives. And yet Joe’s passengers are animals and Sam’s are […]

Five questions for Marilyn Nelson

Marilyn Nelson

Marilyn Nelson is an acclaimed author and poet whose numerous contributions to children’s and young adult literature include Carver: A Life in Poems (Front, 13–16 years); A Wreath for Emmett Till (illus. by Philippe Lardy; Houghton, 13–16 years); and Freedom Business: Including a Narrative of the Life & Adventures of Venture, a Native of Africa […]

Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan on The Mad Potter

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In the January/February 2014 Horn Book Magazine, editor Martha Parravano asked Mad Potter authors Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan about choosing their unusual subject. Read the review here. Martha V. Parravano: How did you discover this fairly unknown subject? Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan: During the New Orleans ALA we headed over to Biloxi to […]

One question for eight people: the Newbery/Caldecott edition of Five Questions

journey

We’ve asked people in-the-know for their 2014 Newbery and/or Caldecott awards predictions — what do you think will win? Or what do you hope will win? Martha Parravano, executive editor, The Horn Book, coauthor, Calling Caldecott blog: I’m predictably terrible at predicting award winners. My choice almost never wins, and when it does, it’s a […]

Daniel Beaty on Knock Knock

Photo: Nathan Yungerberg

In the November/December 2013 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer Robin Smith asked author Daniel Beaty about making his own childhood experience relatable to many readers in his picture book Knock Knock. Read the review here. Robin L. Smith: Your own story is so specific — your dad was in jail — but we never find out […]

Walter Dean Myers on Fallen Angels

fallen angels

This Q&A with author Walter Dean Myers appeared on the Zola Books blog on November 7th, 2013, and was shared with the Horn Book by Emma McKinstry of Goodman Media International, Inc. See Betty Carter’s discussion of themes in Fallen Angels, its sequel Sunrise over Fallujah, and its prequel Invasion here. The human element of […]