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The Horn Book's blogs include Read Roger, Out of the Box, Calling Caldecott, and Lolly's Classroom. You can follow them all here, or individually via each blog's own URL and/or RSS feed.

If There’s Something Strange in the Neighborhood…

charlie brown pumpkin ghost

I’ve been collecting Halloween-y type books for a few years, and when my kids were old enough to understand the significance of the candy-fueled holiday, they really got into reading about ghosts and goblins and trick-or-treating mishaps. We’ve actually made something of a tradition of bringing out the Halloween books at the beginning of October, […]

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


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 […]

Hello Atlas app review


The free Hello Atlas app (Wide Eyed Editions, October 2016; iOS and Android), a companion to the book of the same title, offers a simple introduction to over one hundred languages through greetings and introductory phrases. The opening menu is a slightly animated world map (boats and whales float around the continents), with seven labels: North […]

Hello, hello


It really is a small world after all. We just received two new children’s atlases with the exact same focus: how people say “Hello” around the world. The Hello Atlas and Hello World: A Celebration of Languages and Curiosities are both large-format, fully illustrated atlases. Instead of details about capital cities and mountain ranges, each book […]

Are We There Yet?


There’s nothing like the words “by Caldecott Medalist…” on a book’s cover to generate award buzz. With Are We There Yet?, Dan Santat’s first authored picture book since The Adventures of Beekle, there’s a lot to examine. The front endpapers show a car advancing — frame by frame — down a highway. Its destination is revealed […]

Chapter books | Class #3, fall 2016


This week we are reading three chapter books — The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos, and The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. Each is the first book in a series and each has a strong central character, an element that I think is essential in early […]

Of Fantasy and Daughters

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

I read my daughter’s first fantasy book to her when she was one week old. Every evening I swaddled her up and rocked her to sleep while reading aloud another chapter of Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle. What else was I supposed to do with a tiny speechless creature with big eyes who only wanted […]

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 […]

The Airport Book


I suppose I should begin this post with the standard disclaimer about how this doesn’t look like a traditional Caldecott choice and blah blah and BLAH. But really, is there such a thing anymore? So I’ll just say, This book is brilliant and deserves Caldecott recognition. The fact that it manages to be, simultaneously, an informative report […]

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

medina_tia isa wants a car

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 […]