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Can One Balloon Make an Elephant Fly?

Can One Balloon Make an Elephant Fly?

Earlier this fall, we took a careful look at Emma and Julia Love Ballet based on Julie Danielson’s recommendation. Here’s another title that Julie has high on her radar. (I hope all of you  illustration-lovers follow her blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Whenever I need in-depth information about illustrators, I try Seven Imp first. […]

Folklore and poetry | Class #5, fall 2016

Folklore and poetry

For our class on November 16, we are reading four books and one article. I like combining these two genres because both need to be read aloud in order to really appreciate them. Folklore has to have a strong voice, as it comes from an oral tradition where storytellers have individual styles, just as today’s […]

November’s Notes from the Horn Book

november-2016-notes

November’s Notes from the Horn Book is on its way to subscribers now! We kick things off with 5Q for Nicola Yoon on her new novel The Sun Is Also a Star. In this issue you’ll also find: • YA stories of finding love in troubled times • “wonderfall” seasonal picture books • illustrated artist […]

The morning after

fred-with-daniel-model-castle

[In a burst of apparently unwarranted Dewey-beats-Truman optimism, my original draft for this afternoon’s Notes from the Horn Book editorial suggested that Hillary Clinton could do worse than read some E.B. White (Melissa Sweet’s Some Writer! is reviewed in the issue) to guide her presidency. Probably still not a bad idea even as things turned […]

On Raising a Scientist (Who Happens to Be a Girl)

girl_scientist

It started when my daughter was around three: people letting us know that the things she’s most interested in aren’t meant for girls. At the time, these remarks were directed at my husband and me and revolved around her love of trains. She really, really loved trains. From Thomas the Tank Engine to the real […]

Javaka Steptoe on Radiant Child

Radiant Child

In our November/December 2016 issue, reviewer Lolly Robinson spoke with author/illustrator Javaka Steptoe about his personal connection to the subject of new biography Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Read the full starred review. Lolly Robinson: You and your father, John Steptoe, were both artists in NYC when Basquiat was working. Did […]

A pop-up tour of the White House

sabuda_white-house

For some reason, I’ve been a little preoccupied by all things presidential lately, so I was intrigued when Robert Sabuda‘s book The White House: A Pop-Up of Our Nation’s Home (Orchard Books, January 2016) arrived in the office. Sabuda is best known for his pop-up versions of children’s literature classics like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, […]

Maybe Something Beautiful

maybe-something

On this Election Day (thank goodness we have early voting so I could Do My Civic Duty as early as possible), I bring you something completely different from the headlines: People Getting Along With Other People. Try that ten-second mindfulness training that’s been on the internet: Look at that cover, close your eyes, clear your […]

On Patricia and Fredrick McKissack’s “You can be president” (from March 1997)

president-obama

“Our Sunday evening news conferences with the presidents were always intense, informative, and a whole lot of fun.” I don’t know about you, but on this Monday before election day, I’m in dire need of something hopeful. “You can be president,” from the March/April 1997 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, is just that. I […]

Disco fish

disco_fish

I cannot see this new picture book (which was starred in the November/December 2016 Horn Book Mag) and not have this song in my head. Oddly fitting, given the book’s subject — evolution. “At first I was a fish / I was petrified…” Which of course makes me think of this. And so the day […]