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Raising readers is the goal of every reading parent and is at the heart of the Horn Book’s mission.

Books in the Home: “Mommy, Do I Have White Skin?”: Skin Color, Family, and Picture Books

khan_big-red-lollipop

When my son was five, he was watching TV when a commercial came on that showed a woman slathering her peach-colored arms with lotion. He glanced down at his own brown arm. After poking it with a finger, he asked: “Mommy, do I have white skin?” It was a moment that seemed straight out of […]

If There’s Something Strange in the Neighborhood…

charlie brown pumpkin ghost

I’ve been collecting Halloween-y type books for a few years, and when my kids were old enough to understand the significance of the candy-fueled holiday, they really got into reading about ghosts and goblins and trick-or-treating mishaps. We’ve actually made something of a tradition of bringing out the Halloween books at the beginning of October, […]

Surviving Road Trips with Audiobooks

poppins-audiobook

It began with Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking. I was planning a four-hour road trip with my kids, and I was searching for something besides the fail-safe DVD to entertain them during the drive. Admittedly, as an author, I rail against relying too heavily on movies, TV, and gaming. Yes, they’re convenient, and keep lunacy on […]

Help! My newborn hates to read.

baby_books_small

By now, we all know the benefits of reading to children from birth. The emotional bonding, the language development, the cognitive skills. Plus, there’s a sleep benefit, as Dr. Robert Needlman of Reach Out and Read discussed at the Horn Book’s Fostering Lifelong Learners symposium a few years ago. Tiny babies need to learn to […]

Welcome, families!

Family Reading

Welcome to The Horn Book’s newest blog, Family Reading, a place to find children’s book recommendations, vigorous discussion and debate, advice, and humor about sharing books in the home. We are using both the words family and reading in the broadest possible sense. If, as Sister Sledge sings it, “We Are Family,” then “family” expands […]

Death to the biography book report

no_books

We all remember doing book reports in elementary school. It was fairly standard. You read a book and you write a summary on it or do some type of creative project. This past spring, I assigned a biography book report. I followed the normal prescription: choose a book about someone you’re interested in, and write […]

A Fine Bookshelf

Ibi_Daughters

I once taught a rites-of-passage class to a group of African American and Caribbean American teenage girls. The workshops included lessons in history, self-care, and literacy. These classes weren’t supposed to be like school. I was there to help deepen their understanding of their world and their place in it. I created a lesson called […]

Welcoming everyone to the neighborhood

Welcome neighborhood

When I saw Welcome to My Neighborhood: A Barrio ABC at the library, I was immediately intrigued. I am always interested in books about people of color and since my daughter is half Latina, I wanted to see what this book was about. I’m all for “keeping it real,” but when I read the first […]

Rumpeta-ing through Reading: Picture Books for the Very Young

My daughter Emily has always been a reading omnivore: we have photos of her poring over books from the time she could first sit up. Everything was of interest: catalogs featuring photographs of children; books verging on toys, with flaps or holes or even wheels; concept books; story books. Gradually, certain authors and books became […]

#WeGotDiverseAwardBooks: Reflections on Awards and Allies

lambert and family

I missed out on ALA Midwinter this year. At nine months pregnant, there was just no way I could hop on a plane (or hop anywhere, really) to be a part of the conference and its festivities. But shortly after the 2015 ALA Youth Media Awards were announced, a colleague emailed me, “How about all […]