Reviews of Ilsa J. Bick’s Ashes Trilogy

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Ashes [Ashes Trilogy] by Ilsa J. Bick High School    Egmont    468 pp. 9/11    978-1-60684-175-4    $17.99 An electromagnetic pulse kills most of the country’s population instantly; many of those left become zombielike, “brain-zapped” cannibals. Survivor Alex teams up with eight-year-old Ellie and soldier Tom to search for other people. The trio’s deepening bond adds to […]

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

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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 […]

Do Great Work and the Rest Will Follow

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Growing up in the heart of the South, I saw firsthand how people were excluded based on skin color. I was taught that the rules weren’t the same for blacks and whites, but I also witnessed game-changers such as John Lewis and Coretta Scott King, who rose in spite of that fact. I never thought […]

Studio Views: How to Draw Comics the Yang Way

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When I first started making comics, I drew on 2-ply Bristol board. I inked with a sable hair brush and a bottle of India ink. Why? Because that’s how Stan Lee and John Buscema told me to do it in their seminal book How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way. Like every other 1980s kid […]

Three articles about making picture books

March/April 1998 Horn Book Magazine

The additional reading for our first class comes from Horn Book Magazine‘s classic 1998 special issue on picture books. After you’ve read them, please come back to this post to comment. And as always, I hope this discussion will include more than just my students! The articles in question are “The Words” by Charlotte Zolotow […]

Studio Views: Pen, Ink, Watercolor, Repeat

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I began my illustration career with black and white work. I was much more of a drawer than a painter, much more comfortable with line than with color. One of the things that attracted me to the combination of pen-and-ink and watercolor back then was that watercolor’s transparency allowed me to create color pieces while […]

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 […]