Subscribe to The Horn Book

Publishing

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

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

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 […]

Over and Over

“Once there was a little girl who didn’t understand about time.” So, with deceptive simplicity — for who, of any age, does understand time? — did my mother, Charlotte Zolotow, begin her book Over and Over, first published in 1957. As I write these words today, Charlotte is ninety-seven and I am fifty-nine. I see […]

Lunch with Lee Kingman

It had been nearly five years since my last lunch with Lee Kingman Natti, but it felt like just last month. Her home in Gloucester is an oasis reflecting Lee’s lifelong involvement with artists and writers, as well as her own art. We sat looking out at the granite quarry that holds their water supply […]

The e-Future

The topic is daunting. Imagine someone coming up to Gutenberg while he was working out the kinks on his first press and asking, “So, John, where’s this printing thing going?” I’ve spent the last few years prowling in the digital space and am more or less up to speed on what’s happening now, but the […]

What Hath Harry Wrought?

Just to get a sense of historical perspective, when I last spoke at this festival, there was no euro, no iPods, no Wikipedia, no Facebook; Pluto was still a planet; and I was still drinking. More to the point — today’s point — is that Harry Potter had yet to appear on our side of […]

Get your mind out of the gutter

While working on my interview with Molly Leach about her jacket and interior design for the 50th anniversary edition of A Wrinkle in Time, I was reminded of all the terms that have alternate meanings outside the world of print design and production. Here’s a vocabulary quiz, but see how many you can answer without […]

Interview with Molly Leach

About a month ago I began an email conversation with Molly Leach about her new cover and interior book design for Macmillan’s 50th anniversary edition of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time. Have you seen it? The dust jacket is an updated homage to Ellen Raskin’s original, redrawing the circles and the small silhouettes of […]

Editorial: Remixing Reading

Circumstance as well as preference dictated that I read the 2012 Newbery Medal– and Scott O’Dell Award–winning Dead End in Norvelt in four flavors: advance reading copy, finished book, iBook, and as an audio download from Audible.com. I read the ARC and bound book in editing the Horn Book Magazine review; when I needed to […]