Subscribe to The Horn 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 […]

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 […]

Come Home, Angus


I have never been on a Caldecott committee (and nor will I ever be, since I write publicly at more than one place throughout the year about picture books), and I have a deep reverence for the work these committees do annually. But I admit to a sort of hushed reverence, because it’s all rather […]

School’s First Day of School


Well, if Lolly schooled us on Frankie and Lucky Get Schooled, I guess it’s inevitable that I educate you about School’s First Day of School. Christian Robinson’s other books have stickers all over their covers: Sibert, Coretta Scott King, Boston Globe-Horn Book, and even a Newbery Medal. So, when he has a new book out, we […]

Frank and Lucky Get Schooled

perkins_frank and lucky get schooled

In many of the books we look at for this blog, the illustrator has created virtuosic art that looks as if it required a lot of time and skill. Perkins, on the other hand, makes it look easy. As far as I can tell, all of Lynne Rae Perkins’s work has a feeling of improvisation and […]

The Sound of Silence


This may be an odd thing to say about a book about the search for peace and quiet, but I’m hoping The Sound of Silence makes a lot of noise around Caldecott season. When people ask me for a 2016 book recommendation, I invariably bring up Katrina Goldsaito and Julia Kuo’s story, which I always […]

This Is Not a Picture Book!


Words and pictures. Pictures and words. What makes a book a book, at least in the mind of a young child? Ask any little kid and they will not hesitate to tell you that it’s the pictures. Anyone who has read this blog for more than a year knows that I agree with my young […]

Twenty Yawns


Having won a 2015 Caldecott honor for Nana in the City, Lauren Castillo will surely be on the Caldecott committee’s radar. This is a very different book in theme and even in palette, but once again she does here what she does best: keep the focus tightly on the child’s experience, and get it just right. […]

Jazz Day

orgill_jazz day

It’s so exciting to see a book by a new illustrator that doesn’t look like anything that came before. It’s much more common to notice clear influences (Maurice Sendak, Quentin Blake, Leonard Weisgard…). In case you haven’t seen this book yet, it’s about that famous photo by Art Kane, “Harlem 1958,” showing fifty-seven jazz musicians […]

Emma and Julia Love Ballet


It’s always an interesting exercise to look closely at a book that isn’t a top favorite. Don’t get me wrong: I love this book; I just wasn’t thinking of it as a Caldecott contender. But Julie Danielson named it (here) as a book she’d like to see considered. And, in fact, the actual Caldecott committee will be […]