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Ideas Are All Around

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I suspect I will be in the minority when I tell you my thoughts about this book. But as I tell my students, you have to have the spine to say what you think, and the tact to do it in a way that is direct but not mean. But, wow, is that hard. Especially […]

From the Editor – January 2017

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It is ALA awards month, and I hope you can join us at the association’s Midwinter Conference in Atlanta, January 20th through 24th. The Horn Book will be at booth #2117 in the exhibit hall, and executive editor Martha V. Parravano and I will be making the rounds and picking up the gossip. (Unfortunately, MVP […]

“Judged purely on artistic merit”: The 2016 New York Times Best Illustrated Books

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Editor’s note: Cathryn M. Mercier, director of the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College and a judge on the 2012 New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books panel, generously took us up on a request to look at the picture books on this year’s list, in one bang-up, round-up post. Of the ten books […]

On Rachael Stein’s “The Penderwicks on Hayward Street” (from May 2013)

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“We owe a permanent debt of gratitude to Jeanne Birdsall. Her words are the refiner’s fire that helped turn our leaden hearts to gold.” In her Books in the Home column, “The Penderwicks on Hayward Street,” from the May/June 2013 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, librarian and mom Rachael Stein writes eloquently about how […]

Surprise! A Podcast! – Special Guest Alexandra Bracken

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Hey, look! Here’s a podcast! Siân chats with author Alexandra Bracken about living in Arizona, her new book (Wayfarer), Mo Willems’s man bun, and Star Wars. We chatted in a hotel lobby so there’s a few background noises. Only a few of said noises are very noisy. Alex’s links: Website Twitter Instagram Recap Authors we talk […]

Week in Review, January 2nd-6th

Week in Review

This week on hbook.com… January/February 2017 Horn Book Magazine Table of Contents and Editorial: “She’s With Us” January 2017: Making a Difference Remembering Judith Ortiz Cofer and Marilyn Sachs Wise words from the 2016 BGHB winners: all winners’ and honorees’ acceptance speeches, plus M. T. Anderson’s HBAS keynote “Outside the Box” Boston-area events for January […]

Miracle Man

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Truth be told, I almost always avoid standard religious children’s books, as I find the majority of them trite, preachy, or overly sentimental. A picture book about Jesus could easily fall into one of these categories; could be a sentimental, moralistic depiction with a didactic message. But in the hands of author-illustrator John Hendrix, the story of Jesus feels simultaneously […]

Judith Ortiz Cofer and Marilyn Sachs

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We were sad to hear about the deaths, just before the New Year, of Judith Ortiz Cofer (1952-2016) and Marilyn Sachs (1927-2016), two of children’s literature’s Great Ladies. Cofer’s 1995 linked short story collection An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio was a touchstone work in children’s books: “A milestone in multicultural publishing for […]

The Blob (of Books) That Ate Atlanta

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I had a delightful holiday, thank you very much. There was a small blemish on my weeks off, though. In between the gift exchanges and deciding What In The World Should We Watch On Netflix, there was that little voice sounding in the back of my brain. The voice said, “Martha is going to want […]

My cup runneth over

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I hope everyone had a nice and peaceful break. I mean, I hope everyone had a break of one kind or another but nice and peaceful is what I look for these days. We were in Ptown in a nice and peaceful house, right across from the beach. But while it had seven televisions, there was […]