Editorial: Cultural Currency

Roger Sutton

I was late for work, walking down the street to my subway stop. The trash collectors had come and gone, leaving the narrow sidewalk strewn with empty plastic barrels, upright, sideways, rolling about. Coming the other way up the walk were two tough-looking UPS ladies, and I stepped aside to let them pass. No need […]

Editorial: Please Repeat the Question

Neil Gaiman has his own, very good, reasons for asking, “What the [Very Bad Swearword] Is a Children’s Book Anyway?” and you can read all about them, starting on page 10. The question is great, but he doesn’t really have an answer. Don’t feel bad, Neil: here at the Horn Book, we’ve been asking that […]

NF Notes: Letter from the Editor

Roger Sutton

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book, a quarterly supplement to our monthly e-newsletter Notes from the Horn Book. Each issue of Nonfiction Notes will contain brief reviews, taken from the Horn Book Guide, of new and recent informational books we think would be especially good for schools looking to […]

Core Publishing

Common Core State Standards Logo

You can sometimes feel like the Old Stage Manager in this job, watching ’em all come and go for their hour upon the stage. Big picture books, little picture books, good girls and bad girls, vampires, angels, fallen angels, books for boys, fantasy, and realism. The players have producers: not just publishers but also the […]

King of All the Caldecotts

sendak_sutton_2011_170x207

“If this book doesn’t win the Caldecott Medal I’m going to kill myself.” I heard that from Zena Sutherland, quoting Ursula Nordstrom, while Zena and I were at Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum in 1982, viewing an exhibition of the complete original art for the book in question, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. That book […]

Editorial: We Belong Together

Roger Sutton caricature by Ed Bryant

Like you (I’m guessing), I felt my soul give a little lurch at the news that Encyclopaedia Britannica was getting out of the book business to go online, all the time. Part of my reaction was nostalgia—when I was a child we owned the first four or five volumes of some encyclopedia that my parents […]

Editorial: Remixing Reading

Horn Book Magazine cover, March/April 2012

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 […]

In Which We’ve Done Only Half the Work

Roger Sutton caricature by Ed Bryant

But let us here consider the books in need—those books for youth that make librarians both happy and industrious. When I look at our 2011 Fanfare list, beginning on page 10, I see an array of thirty books whose fortunes will largely depend on you. Yes, some of the choices have already established themselves (Press Here and I Want My Hat Back are on this week’s New York Times bestsellers list), and good for them. But most of the books on our Fanfare list will need your attention first if they hope to find the attention of young readers.

The Sign on Sendak’s Door

Proclamation

Although grateful for the support of publishers who place advertisements in The Horn Book, I’ve never before felt the need to direct you to such from this page. But I do so now: please go and read the advertisement on page 57 and then come back here. I’ll wait. Imagine a picture book world where […]

Editorial: What Books Can Do

Roger Sutton

In the aftermath of the attacks of September 11th ten years ago, there were many books published for children and teens about the tragedy. Some were informative, and at least two transcended the moment: Maira Kalman’s Fireboat and Mordicai Gerstein’s The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. But there was a persistent strain of “helpful” […]