Comics Are Picture Books: A (Graphic) Novel Idea

spiegelman_lost in nyc

Comic books are everywhere. Customers are purchasing them, readers of all ages are devouring them, teachers are using more and more of them in their classrooms, and they’re winning awards like crazy. Some people have applauded recent book-award committees’ open-mindedness to the comics format, while others remain conflicted. The recurrent question of whether ALA should […]

Water Is Water: A Book about the Water Cycle

water is water

In this exploration of the water cycle, Jason Chin uses watercolor and gouache to paint lovely scenes of a family’s pond-side, rural homestead. Each season is shown in vibrant colors and thoughtful details, and water is shown in a different form on each page. I particularly liked the choice to present the house and its […]

DinoWriMo on NaNoWriMo


“Gee, writing a whole novel in a month is a lot of work. I need a stegonographer. It’s so hard to come up with a di-plot-ocus so quickly, with a structure and a dinoument and everything. I bet the Brontësaurus sisters didn’t work like this.” For more terrible puns, click the tag DinoWriMo.

An Interview with Kate DiCamillo


Kate DiCamillo served as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature from January 2014 to December 2015 and was this year’s National Summer Reading Champion. This past spring, Horn Book editors Elissa Gershowitz and Martha V. Parravano shared breakfast with the two-time Newbery Medalist (for Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures and The Tale of Despereaux) […]

The Night World

night world

There’s a lot to like about The Night World, from Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein. Unlike your esteemed leaders here at Calling Caldecott, I’ve never been on the Caldecott committee, but if I were, this book would be in my serious-consideration stack. Let’s start with the dust jacket. It welcomes readers with a window, as a […]

Meet the Dullards

pennypacker_meet the dullards

Today we’re considering Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri. If you haven’t had a look at this book yet, do yourself a favor and go find it. It’s far from dull. As you can see from the cover, there’s something going on here between the text and the art similar to […]

Editorial: We’re Not Rainbow Sprinkles


Last month at the Cambridge Public Library, I moderated a panel of five middle-grade writers brought to town by their publisher, Random House: Jeanne Birdsall, Bruce Coville, Alice Hoffman, R. J. Palacio, and Rebecca Stead. The place was packed and the conversation lively. With just a few minutes left for questions at the end of […]

Horn Book Magazine – November/December 2015

November/December 2015 Horn Book Magazine

Table of Contents Features “An Interview with Kate DiCamillo” by Elissa Gershowitz A lively chat over breakfast with the outgoing National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. “’Children, Children, What Do You See?’” by Megan Dowd Lambert Excerpted from Reading Picture Books with Children, a new book that explores Lambert’s “Whole Book Approach” to storytime. “Comics […]

Picture book moments


In picture-book goings-on, bloggers Julie Danielson, Betsy Bird, Travis Jonker, and Minh Lê have a seasonally appropriate discussion about creepy picture books. (And here are the Horn Book’s recommendations for Halloween reading.) –and the New York Times Best Illustrated list is out and includes A Fine Dessert, so don’t look for that discussion to die down […]

Is the Internet killing reading?

Call Me Ishmael

Well, IMHO, no… One of the questions I am asked most often in classes and in trainings with teachers is about the Internet’s impact on students’ reading. It usually goes something like this… “Do you think the internet is killing reading?” I usually wonder silently if using the word “killing” means the asker has already […]