Jolly Holiday

mary_poppins

The Horn Book’s annual busman’s holiday took us to the movies to see Saving Mr. Banks. We laughed, we cried; it’s not a very good movie but the star power and chemistry of Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks kept me involved. I hear from more knowledgeable sources that the film is at some distance from […]

Paging Santa

Pageant

They were adorable. But between the pageant, caroling the night before, decorating the tree yesterday, and making enough Chex mix to last through Valentine’s Day, I feel like my holiday responsibilities are over. If Santa* would just write my book reviews I would be all set.   *He can be any color. I don’t care. […]

We like sheep

ChristmasPageant

Tomorrow I’ll be participating in my first  (and thus best, I suppose) Christmas pageant ever, with what seems to be a pretty Jesusy group of Unitarians. (They have a cross behind what passes for the altar, but a Mogen David hangs in the front.) My childhood Catholic church had a manger scene on the lawn in […]

Fanfare!

Here is Fanfare, the Horn Book’s list of the best books for young people published in 2013. The complete annotated list will be sent to Notes from the Horn Book subscribers next week; sign up now (it’s free) to get it hot off the server. The annotated list, beautifully designed by Lolly Robinson and suitable […]

Holiday Reading

timetunnel

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and may you all have lots of leisure time for reading this long weekend (if you get a long weekend). I’m happily juggling three time travel novels: Andrew Sean Greer’s The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells; Stephen King’s 11/22/63 (which I was at first listening to–it has a great reader–but it’s just […]

Starred books, January-February 2014 Horn Book Magazine

The following books will receive starred reviews in the January-February 2014 issue of the Horn Book Magazine. Some of these books will also be included on our Fanfare best-of-the-year list, which will be published next month.   Santiago Stays; written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez (Abrams Appleseed/Abrams) Hello, Mr. Hulot; written and illustrated by David Merveille (NorthSouth) Big […]

R.I.P. Charlotte Zolotow

illustration by Maurice Sendak, from Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present.

Former publisher of children’s books at HarperCollins and immortal author of picture books Charlotte Zolotow has died at the age of 98. As an editor and publisher she was quite a force, bringing us such revelations as The Pigman and Weetzie Bat; as an author, she is without peer in her particular realm: the quiet […]

NYC with a Cherry on top

Goldfinch

Back from New York, where I spent Saturday morning at Bank Street College talking about book reviewing with my sisters at SLJ (Luann Toth), Kirkus (Vicky Smith), and the New York Times (Sarah Harrison Smith). We talked about numbers of books (too many), lengths of books (too long) and the thinking involved in matching the […]

Me and the girls

Bette

                Saturday morning AT THE UNGODLY HOUR OF 9:00AM I’ll be joining my book reviewing sisters Sarah Smith (NYTBR) Vicky Smith (Kirkus) and Luann Toth (SLJ) for a panel discussion of book reviewing at Bank Street College in New York. I hope you can join us.

I only just got why he’s called ENDER

Enders-Game

I saw Ender’s Game last weekend and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. What impressed me most was how much a true children’s movie it is; like Asa Butterfield’s (Ender) previous movie Hugo, Ender’s Game neither winks over children’s heads to an adult audience nor sexes things up for putative YA interest. Although […]