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Natalie Babbitt, 1932–2016

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Beloved author and illustrator Natalie Babbitt died this past Monday; she had been recently diagnosed with lung cancer. She gave the children’s book world immeasurable gifts — her books. In the New York Times obituary, her husband, Samuel Fisher Babbitt, described her as a remarkable woman “who left her mark in the literary world with her […]

Melissa Sweet Talks with Roger

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Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by Melissa Sweet has illustrated biographies of a number of historical figures — Horace Pippin (A Splash of Red), William Carlos Williams (A River of Words), Peter Mark Roget (The Right […]

Emerson’s “Diversity in Children’s and YA Publishing” panel

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Last week, Martha and I attended an excellent panel on “Diversity in Children’s and Young Adult Publishing,” hosted by Emerson College’s Writing, Literature, and Publishing program. Panelists were Lesléa Newman (author of Heather Has Two Mommies, October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard, and many, many others); Vicky Smith, Kirkus‘s children’s and teen editor; and […]

A Kerlan Fellow Inspired by Two Particular Fellows: Arnold Lobel and James Marshall

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As the recipient of the 2016 Ezra Jack Keats/Kerlan Memorial Fellowship, I was given the chance to spend several days at the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota looking through original artwork, sketches, manuscripts, notebooks, and other items that have been donated to the Kerlan. It’s a vast, impressive collection with many of my […]

Horn Book at Boston Book Festival 2016

The Horn Book at Boston Book Festival 2016. Booth #61. Photo: Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax For once, my Boston Book Festival experience began with a panel of adult authors. Robin Young moderated the kickoff panel Friday evening: “Storytelling for Page and Screen” with Emma Donoghue, Maria Semple, and Tom Perrotta. The authors shared their varied experiences of having their books made into movies (Donoghue’s Room; Semple’s forthcoming Where’d […]

Reviews of select books written and/or illustrated by Melissa Sweet

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The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant; illus. by Melissa Sweet Primary    Eerdmans    48 pp. 9/14    978-0-8028-5385-1    $17.50 Apt language and ingenious imagery combine to tell the life story of Peter Mark Roget, creator of the thesaurus. A solitary, though not unhappy, child, Roget spends his time keeping lists and ordering the […]

On Meg Medina’s “The Writer’s Page: On Writing the American Familia” (from January 2016)

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Children’s author Meg Medina finds inspiration in the family stories she heard as a child, which “opened inside of me a sense of cultural history that wasn’t reflected in any book I was reading in school or seeing on any of my favorite television shows.” In an article from the January/February 2016 issue of the […]

Aaron Becker on Return

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In our September/October 2016 issue, we asked author/illustrator Aaron Becker about a possible cameo in his new picture book Return. Read the full review here, along with reviews of the previous volumes Journey and Quest. Horn Book Editors: Is the father in the story you? Aaron Becker: In a sense, yes. But I think I […]

Shaun Tan Talks with Roger

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Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by Shaun Tan’s latest book has an interesting history, beginning when publisher Klaus Humann asked Tan to illustrate Grimms Märchen, fifty stories from the Grimms adapted and edited by Philip Pullman. […]

Jennifer Fosberry Talks with Roger

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Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by Spoiler alert — there’s a woman in the White House. At least there is on the closing page of Isabella: Girl in Charge, in which the popular picture book heroine […]