Sam and Dave Dig a Hole

sam and dave dig hole

What will the Caldecott committee be talking about when it turns its scrutiny to Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen’s Sam and Dave Dig a Hole? Maybe the question should be, What WON’T the committee be talking about? Like Yuyi Morales’s Viva Frida, this is one discussable book. Though, perhaps, for different reasons. The art is certainly […]

Getting to know you

Salley Mavor visited the Horn Book office and joined us for lunch in 2011 when she delivered the art for her January 2012 cover.

One of the perks of my job here at the Horn Book — and I suspect for any of you working in publishing — is meeting and sometimes really getting to know some of my favorite illustrators and authors. Often, committee members attend dinners and other events featuring some of what may be their favorite authors […]

Firebird: A Guest Post by Sam Bloom

firebird

Is it possible for a guy who has won three BGHB Honors, four Coretta Scott King Honors, and one Caldecott Honor (in 1998, for Harlem) to be underrated? Why yes, yes it is. Christopher Myers continues to fly under the radar every year when it comes to Caldecott buzz, but I’m guessing the real committee will […]

Viva Frida

Viva Frida

Have you all seen Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales yet? If you have, I think you will agree that THIS book will be getting a lot of consideration by the real Caldecott committee. Not just because it’s beautiful, but there is so much to discuss and wonder about. Then there is the medium. For me, […]

Gaston

gaston

I hate missing the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards Ceremony and next-day Symposium for a lot of reasons. Besides getting to see everyone I already know, I love hearing the speeches by people I don’t know (but would like to). One new person whom I would have loved hearing is Christian Robinson, illustrator of Josephine and The Smallest Girl […]

Josephine

josephine

The subtitle of Patricia Hruby Powell (author) and Christian Robinson (illustrator)’s fabulous picture-book biography of the early-twentieth-century African American dancer and iconoclast is “The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker” — and the book is truly as dazzling as its subject. So we can get that major, crucial criterion “appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept” […]

Sequels, schmequels

flora penguin

So, as I cast my eyes across my shelf,  I wonder: what in the world is the committee going to do with all the picture-book sequels that have been pouring in?! Now, picture books usually do not have sequels, and some of these are not officially sequels but are simply very similar in style or […]

My Bus

My Bus

In my opinion, My Bus (a companion book to Byron Barton’s My Car) is a perfect preschool book. But is it too simple to get a Caldecott award? First we meet Joe, the bus driver. “I am Joe. This is my car. This is my bus.” As he drives his bus into town, five dogs and […]

Separate Is Never Equal (or how to find out more about a book)

Separate Is Never Equal

I’m going to stop using so many words (as I am well aware of their soporific powers) and try to be brief. I am also including a ton of links, so hang on tight! During our last conversation, Martha brought up a point about art that comes from other places and cultures that we may […]

What *about* those Caldecott criteria?

Last week, Robin reminded us how crucial it is to keep the Caldecott criteria in mind as we examine this year’s picture books. We all know that the Caldecott rules and criteria are paramount and inviolable, and for decades committees have obsessively wrestled with the meanings and nuances of “excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed”; […]