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Are We There Yet?


There’s nothing like the words “by Caldecott Medalist…” on a book’s cover to generate award buzz. With Are We There Yet?, Dan Santat’s first authored picture book since The Adventures of Beekle, there’s a lot to examine. The front endpapers show a car advancing — frame by frame — down a highway. Its destination is revealed […]

Chapter books | Class #3, fall 2016


This week we are reading three chapter books — The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos, and The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. Each is the first book in a series and each has a strong central character, an element that I think is essential in early […]

Of Fantasy and Daughters

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

I read my daughter’s first fantasy book to her when she was one week old. Every evening I swaddled her up and rocked her to sleep while reading aloud another chapter of Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle. What else was I supposed to do with a tiny speechless creature with big eyes who only wanted […]

A Kerlan Fellow Inspired by Two Particular Fellows: Arnold Lobel and James Marshall


As the recipient of the 2016 Ezra Jack Keats/Kerlan Memorial Fellowship, I was given the chance to spend several days at the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota looking through original artwork, sketches, manuscripts, notebooks, and other items that have been donated to the Kerlan. It’s a vast, impressive collection with many of my […]

Horn Book at Boston Book Festival 2016

The Horn Book at Boston Book Festival 2016. Booth #61. Photo: Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax For once, my Boston Book Festival experience began with a panel of adult authors. Robin Young moderated the kickoff panel Friday evening: “Storytelling for Page and Screen” with Emma Donoghue, Maria Semple, and Tom Perrotta. The authors shared their varied experiences of having their books made into movies (Donoghue’s Room; Semple’s forthcoming Where’d […]

The Airport Book


I suppose I should begin this post with the standard disclaimer about how this doesn’t look like a traditional Caldecott choice and blah blah and BLAH. But really, is there such a thing anymore? So I’ll just say, This book is brilliant and deserves Caldecott recognition. The fact that it manages to be, simultaneously, an informative report […]

On Meg Medina’s “The Writer’s Page: On Writing the American Familia” (from January 2016)

medina_tia isa wants a car

Children’s author Meg Medina finds inspiration in the family stories she heard as a child, which “opened inside of me a sense of cultural history that wasn’t reflected in any book I was reading in school or seeing on any of my favorite television shows.” In an article from the January/February 2016 issue of the […]

Hbook Podcast 1.33 – Special Guest Christian Robinson


Podcast the 33rd in which Siân and Roger chat with Last Stop on Market Street illustrator (and generally awesome human being), Christian Robinson. Books we talk about illustrated by Christian Robinson School’s First Day of School, Adam Rex Last Stop on Market Street, Matt de la Peña Leo: A Ghost Story, Mac Barnett Little Penguins, Cynthia […]

Questions from Molly Bang | Class #2, fall 2016

Picture This

We are looking forward to welcoming Molly Bang to our next class on October 19. One of the things that makes Molly unique as a guest speaker is that she likes her visits to be learning experiences — for herself. One year she focused on a book that she thought didn’t work very well. It […]

Shaun Tan Talks with Roger


Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by Shaun Tan’s latest book has an interesting history, beginning when publisher Klaus Humann asked Tan to illustrate Grimms Märchen, fifty stories from the Grimms adapted and edited by Philip Pullman. […]