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April Notes is here

april 16 notes

In the April Notes from the Horn Book newsletter, we ask poet Roxane Orgill 5Q about Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph (including her recommended jazz playlist!). This issue also features poetry collections to help intermediate readers celebrate National Poetry Month picture books to inspire close observation middle-grade historical fiction set in the […]

Goodbye, Jim

JimGiblin

I was sorry to hear on Monday about the death of James Cross Giblin, editor, publisher, author, and friend–to me and countless others in the children’s book business. Back before it was even a Thing, Jim was writing narrative nonfiction about the damnedest things–windows, milk–and had the gift for conveying his own enthusiasm for his topics […]

Bob Raczka on Wet Cement

raczka_wet cement

In our May/June 2016 issue, reviewer Sarah Ellis asked Bob Raczka about poetry in unconventional places. Read the starred review of Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems. Sarah Ellis: Have you ever, yourself, written in wet cement or indulged in any other sneaky poetry? Bob Raczka: Sneaky poetry? Hmmm. In my day job as […]

Today’s the day! Happy 100th birthday, Beverly Cleary

Beth McIntyre, Madison County (WI) Public librarian, shows off her Ramona Quimby Q tattoo.

One hundred years ago today — April 12, 1916 — children’s literature icon Beverly Cleary was born. Today we hope she’s enjoying a gigantic slice of carrot cake! We’ve been celebrating her life and legacy in the pages of The Horn Book and at hbook.com. Here are some of children’s literature’s best and brightest on […]

Reviewing race

lemonade

We have a new podcast out today (with Horn Book reviewer Hannah Gómez as guest), mostly talking about Kirkus’ children’s editor Vicky Smith’s new policy of labelling, where possible, the race of all mentioned characters in reviews of children’s/YA fiction. When we recorded the podcast I hadn’t yet seen Kirkus operating under its new rule, but […]

Opening Day 2016

tavares_growing up pedro

It’s Opening Day at Fenway Park! (We can hear the helicopters from the Horn Book office.) Here are some baseball picture books to get you cheering for the ol’ ball game. McCully, Emily Arnold Queen of the Diamond: The Lizzie Murphy Story Gr. K–3 32 pp. Farrar/Ferguson 2015 In the early twentieth century, Lizzie Murphy […]

Bricksy: Unauthorized Underground Brick Street Art

friesen_bricksy

Looking at the cover of Bricksy: Unauthorized Underground Brick Street Art (Skyhorse, August 2015), I wondered: why would anyone do this? Who would even think of doing this? What is the point of making a book dedicated to LEGO replicas of Banksy art, and why am I so glad that someone did? It’s such a […]

Information books | Class #4, 2016

informationbooks_2015

Our next class will be in two weeks, on April 21. We’ll be talking about four information books: Actual Size by Steve Jenkins Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill, illustrated by Bryan Collier Things sure have changed […]

Actual Size | Class #4, 2016

Actual Size

We are reading four information books for our next class, all picture books but for various ages. Steve Jenkins’s Actual Size could be read with very young children or with older ones depending on how you choose to share it. There is basic information in large type and details for older children in smaller type. The […]

Me…Jane | Class #4, 2016

Me...Jane

As picture book biographies go, this is one of the more irreverent ones. What did you make of it? What about the visual mix: McDonnell’s cartoon-style art, vintage stamps, Goodall’s childhood drawings, and photos? The year this was published, we had lots of discussion pro and con about the final photograph — in particular its […]