Horn Book Magazine

A Second Look: It’s Like This, Cat

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In late January 1964, a committee of twenty-three librarians from around the country met in a small room in a Chicago hotel to select the Newbery and Caldecott winners from a group of eligible books that had been published in 1963. In those years, the executive board members of ALA’s Children’s Services Division (now ALSC) […]

Review of Secrets of the Rainforest

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Secrets of the Rainforest: A Shine-a-Light Book by Carron Brown; illus. by Alyssa Nassner Preschool, Primary     Kane Miller     40 pp. 3/15     978-161067-325-9     $12.99 In Nassner’s eye-catching illustrations, the lush foliage of a tropical rainforest, filled with abstract, bright-green leaves and brown branches and trunks, hides a host of living organisms. To find out what kinds […]

Review of Binny in Secret

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Binny in Secret by Hilary McKay; illus. by Micah Player Intermediate, Middle School     McElderry     276 pp. 6/15      978-1-4424-8278-4     $16.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4424-8280-7     $10.99 Belinda (Binny for Short, rev. 1/14) is back, along with her single-parent mum, responsible sister Clem, and lovable little brother James. In this second adventure the Cornwallis family […]

Review of The Skunk

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The Skunk by Mac Barnett; illus. by Patrick McDonnell Primary     Roaring Brook     32 pp. 4/15     978-1-59643-966-5     $17.99 A skunk shows up on the narrator’s doorstep and begins to tail him. Try as he might, our narrator just can’t seem to shake the skunk — “When I sped up, the skunk sped up. When […]

Review of Salsa

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Salsa: Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem by Jorge Argueta; illus. by Duncan Tonatiuh; trans. from the Spanish by Elisa Amado Primary     Groundwood     32 pp. 3/15     978-1-55498-442-8     $18.95 e-book ed. 978-1-55498-443-5     $16.95 In this latest addition to his series of bilingual cooking poems (Arroz con leche / Rice Pudding; Guacamole), Argueta […]

Review of The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate

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The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly Intermediate, Middle School     Holt     309 pp. 7/15     978-0-8050-9744-3     $16.99     g Kelly returns to turn-of-the-last-century small-town central Texas to continue the story of nascent scientist Callie Vee. Kelly quickly fills readers in on essential background (only girl in the family, with six brothers; […]

Review of Wait

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Wait by Antoinette Portis; illus. by the author Preschool     Porter/Roaring Brook     32 pp. 7/15     978-1-59643-921-4     $16.99 A harried mother rushes her toddler son through the busy city streets, and he resists, stalling to look at everything they encounter. This fundamental tension plays out in a series of spreads illustrating the same refrain. She […]

#WeGotDiverseAwardBooks: Reflections on Awards and Allies

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I missed out on ALA Midwinter this year. At nine months pregnant, there was just no way I could hop on a plane (or hop anywhere, really) to be a part of the conference and its festivities. But shortly after the 2015 ALA Youth Media Awards were announced, a colleague emailed me, “How about all […]

Review of The Octopus Scientists

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The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk [Scientists in the Field] by Sy Montgomery; photos by Keith Ellenbogen Intermediate, Middle School     Houghton     71 pp. 5/15     978-0-544-232-70-9     $18.99 The French Polynesian island region of Moorea is home to the Pacific day octopus and to a research center that serves as home base […]

Coretta Scott King Awards 2015

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Some of the most eagerly awaited announcements during the ALA Youth Media Awards press conference are the Coretta Scott King Awards. This year, with all the discussion about diversity, anticipation was high about what would captivate the CSK jury. Would previously decorated authors and illustrators receive additional accolades to gild already outstanding bodies of work? […]