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2017 Sydney Taylor Book Awards announced

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The winners of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards are: For Younger Readers: I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy; illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley (Simon) For Older Readers: The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz; with illustrations by Hatem Aly (Dutton) Read Fall 2016 […]

Dreaming big

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As a child, I loved reading biographies of famous women. I wanted strong, nuanced, and passionate women to look up to, and I found them throughout history. They were writers, politicians, explorers, and so much more, and learning about them allowed me to imagine a broad future for myself. The Little People, Big Dreams primary […]

Real Cowboys

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Most of us associate illustrator Jonathan Bean with a more representative style and a less saturated medium. (Think Building Our House and This Is My Home, This Is My School.) But of course the Real Committee can’t be thinking about that, and anyway Bean made the right artistic choice for this book’s impressionistic text. The art is composed of […]

Ideas Are All Around

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I suspect I will be in the minority when I tell you my thoughts about this book. But as I tell my students, you have to have the spine to say what you think, and the tact to do it in a way that is direct but not mean. But, wow, is that hard. Especially […]

“Judged purely on artistic merit”: The 2016 New York Times Best Illustrated Books

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Editor’s note: Cathryn M. Mercier, director of the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College and a judge on the 2012 New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books panel, generously took us up on a request to look at the picture books on this year’s list, in one bang-up, round-up post. Of the ten books […]

On Rachael Stein’s “The Penderwicks on Hayward Street” (from May 2013)

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“We owe a permanent debt of gratitude to Jeanne Birdsall. Her words are the refiner’s fire that helped turn our leaden hearts to gold.” In her Books in the Home column, “The Penderwicks on Hayward Street,” from the May/June 2013 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, librarian and mom Rachael Stein writes eloquently about how […]

Making a Difference, Week 1

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This month we’re celebrating people who have Made a Difference through their good work. Each day, we’ll highlight a book about someone who has effected positive change, with a roundup on Fridays. Follow the hashtag #HBMaDJan17 @HornBook and Facebook.com/TheHornBook. This week’s picks: Review of Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights […]

Miracle Man

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Truth be told, I almost always avoid standard religious children’s books, as I find the majority of them trite, preachy, or overly sentimental. A picture book about Jesus could easily fall into one of these categories; could be a sentimental, moralistic depiction with a didactic message. But in the hands of author-illustrator John Hendrix, the story of Jesus feels simultaneously […]

Little Kitten app review

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I admit, I am a total sucker for all things cat-related. But Fox & Sheep’s new app Little Kitten (Fox & Sheep in partnership with Squeakosaurus, January 2017; iOS only) has a lot going for it besides the cute-kitty factor. A brief (and optional) wordless video introduces our hero, a gray tabby kitten left on […]

The Blob (of Books) That Ate Atlanta

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I had a delightful holiday, thank you very much. There was a small blemish on my weeks off, though. In between the gift exchanges and deciding What In The World Should We Watch On Netflix, there was that little voice sounding in the back of my brain. The voice said, “Martha is going to want […]