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Bob Raczka on Wet Cement

raczka_wet cement

In our May/June 2016 issue, reviewer Sarah Ellis asked Bob Raczka about poetry in unconventional places. Read the starred review of Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems. Sarah Ellis: Have you ever, yourself, written in wet cement or indulged in any other sneaky poetry? Bob Raczka: Sneaky poetry? Hmmm. In my day job as […]

Five questions for Roxane Orgill

roxane orgill

Art Kane’s spectacular 1958 photograph of fifty-seven jazz greats, Harlem 1958, was the inspiration for Roxane Orgill’s poetry collection Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph (Candlewick, 6–9 years), illustrated by Francis Vallejo. With equal measure warmth and humor, confidence and awe, Orgill’s poems capture a thrilling moment in music history. 1. You mention […]

Today’s the day! Happy 100th birthday, Beverly Cleary

Beth McIntyre, Madison County (WI) Public librarian, shows off her Ramona Quimby Q tattoo.

One hundred years ago today — April 12, 1916 — children’s literature icon Beverly Cleary was born. Today we hope she’s enjoying a gigantic slice of carrot cake! We’ve been celebrating her life and legacy in the pages of The Horn Book and at hbook.com. Here are some of children’s literature’s best and brightest on […]

Beverly Cleary letter to Lois Darling

Letter (circa late 1970s/early 1980s) from Beverly Cleary to Lois Darling, widow of illustrator Louis Darling. Used with permission of Beverly Cleary and The Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota Libraries Archives and Special Collections.

This spring the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art launches an exhibit of the work of illustrator Louis Darling, Louis Darling: Drawing the Words of Beverly Cleary. While preparing the exhibit, curator (and Caldecott Honoree, thank you very much!) Tony DiTerlizzi found the following letter from Beverly Cleary to Darling’s widow, Lois, with a […]

Once Upon a Time It Was 1950

cleary_henry huggins

Ask any reader, teacher, librarian, author, or illustrator to rattle off their favorite Beverly Cleary books, and chances are the list will contain names of literary personalities we all know and love: Henry Huggins, Ramona Quimby, Ellen Tebbits, Ribsy, and (my favorite) the motorcycle-riding Ralph S. Mouse. Ask that same group if they know who […]

You Don’t DO That to Beverly Cleary!

Beverly Cleary Tweet

Husband Guy came home to find me digging a pit in our front yard. He recognized the little storm cloud over my head, so he knew what to ask: “Who irked you now?” “The mailman!” I said, tossing another shovelful of Jersey dirt. “He bent Beverly Cleary!” Husband Guy arched one eyebrow like I can’t […]

Marilyn’s great speech

nelson_carver a life in poems

Here’s a link to the speech Marilyn Nelson gave when she won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Carver in 2001. The awards were given in Burlington, Vermont that October, a very fraught time, as you will recall. I remember that Marilyn’s son, then a student at McGill in Montreal, missed the ceremony as he […]

Julie Berry on The Passion of Dolssa

Photo: Bruce Lucier

In our March/April 2016 issue, Horn Book Magazine editor Martha V. Parravano talked with Julie Berry about how she researched and evoked thirteenth-century Provincia. Read the starred review of The Passion of Dolssa. Martha V. Parravano: An astounding amount of research went into this book — and surely you must now be the world’s leading […]

Beverly Cleary and the Art of Growing Up

cleary_ramona the brave

Like my own home street, I took Klickitat Street for granted until I had been gone for a long time and returned. I recently re-read the Ramona series and realized how many scenes had wormed their way into my memory and become indistinguishable from my own experiences. The paper-bag owl, Grandma Quimby’s proverbs, the dawnzer, […]

Telling the Truth While Making Things Up

scott_ramonabehindscenes

I met Beverly Cleary in 1980, when I was a barely published author and she was already an icon of children’s literature. As a new initiate into the writers’ group that was sponsoring a weekend writers’ conference, I was assigned the task of meeting Beverly’s plane. I remember being amazed at my good fortune, but […]