NYPL children’s book exhibit

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The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter, an exciting new exhibit housed at the New York Public Library and curated by Friend-of-The-Horn-Book Leonard S. Marcus, opens today. Go see it and tell us what you think (so we can be jealous)! And look to the September/October 2013 Horn Book Magazine for Leonard’s article about […]

Beatrix Potter and the Horn Book

Emma Thompson's new Peter Rabbit adventure next to Beatrix Potter's original.

We just posted “Peter Rabbit and the Tale of the Fierce Bad Publisher,” Caroline Fraser’s excellent article about Emma Thompson’s The Further Adventures of Peter Rabbit and Frederick Warne’s methods for getting around copyright laws in order to keep protecting its cash cow. Or bunny. (Cash bunny? Buck bunny?) As someone who occasionally needs to […]

Peter Rabbit and the Tale of a Fierce Bad Publisher

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Originality is everything in literature, as in art. “Originals never lose their value,” Ralph Waldo Emerson said. He may have been referring to Shakespeare and Wordsworth, but the statement is just as true of children’s literature. Of course, even originals owe something to the past — “we all quote,” Emerson acknowledged — but he did […]

More Than Just the Facts: A Hundred Years of Children’s Nonfiction

by James Cross Giblin There are now in Europe about ten thousand public and private vehicles that are self-moving. They are usually called “automobiles.”. . . It is thought that there are now about three hundred such vehicles in this country. The automobile is the coming vehicle. We shall see it in all our cities […]

Not-So-Trivial Pursuits: The Wrong Plot

By James Cross Giblin Sometimes you think you’ve finished the research for a key section in a nonfiction book, and then something occurs that makes you realize you’ve got it all wrong. This happened to me recently in connection with a book I’m working on about silent screen star Lillian Gish and her discoverer and […]

Five Questions for Anna Dewdney

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Llama Llama… author-illustrator and rock star to preschoolers Anna Dewdney will be our special guest at the Fostering Lifelong Learners conference on April 25th, joining in the conversation about making and sharing great books for preschoolers. Here are five questions for her. 1.What did your own children teach you about creating books for preschoolers? My […]

Jack (and Jill) Be Nimble: An Interview with Mary Cash and Jason Low

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In between the few huge publishing houses and the many tiny ones lie the small independents. Mary Cash is vice president and editor in chief of Holiday House, founded by Vernon Ives in 1935 and currently publishing sixty-plus new books a year; Jason Low is the publisher of Lee & Low Books, co-founded by his […]

How to publish for the CCSS

Ha ha, not really. I hope everybody is getting some use out of our latest newsletter, Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book. I’ve been thinking about NF a lot since ALA, where I spent two solid days talking to publishers about what they were planning for the coming year(s). Along with inflicting upon the world […]

The Picture Book as an Act of Mischief

Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola

Poet Theodore Roethke said that poetry was an act of mischief. I’ve always liked that. But to my mind, even more than poetry it is the picture book that is truly an act of mischief. Mischief: “Playful misbehavior or troublemaking, especially in children.” “Playfulness that is intended to tease, or mock or to create trouble.” […]

Face Out: Picture Book Covers

Puss in Boots

A recent conversation about the current state of the picture book soon came around to the subject of book jackets. A senior art director in the group noted mournfully that as jacket designs have increasingly become the province of sales and marketing teams, covers have grown less representative of the books they trumpet. The disconnect […]