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Notes From the Horn Book – August 2011

V O L U M E  4 ,   N U M B E R  8   •   A U G U S T   2 0 1 1 In this issue Five questions for Marc Aronson • More new nonfiction • Dot-dot-dash — concept books with a twist • YA novels you’ve been waiting for • Of interest to adults • From the Editor For a list of books mentioned in this issue, see link below. Masthead art © by William Steig, used […]

Dave the Potter and Stevie the Reader

Dave the Potter

One of the things I love best about my work in children’s literature is how seamlessly it melds with my life as a mother. When I was elected to serve on the 2011 Caldecott committee, I wrote to family and friends, saying, “Thousands of picture books will come my way and I have just the […]

Notes from the Horn Book – December 2011

Reading on the Spectrum

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Life with my two young sons is a study in contrasts. Alden (almost five) is high-strung; Griffin (my two-year-old) is mellow. Alden couldn’t care less about food; Griffin lives to eat. Alden keeps to himself; Griffin never stops talking. Alden has autism; Griffin does not. That last contrast is a biggie, and undoubtedly a contributing […]

Books in the Home: The Boy Ramona

After a particularly hard day at school, my then nine-year-old son, Rory, forlornly and aptly announced, “I think I’m the boy Ramona.” Rory is thirteen now, and he continues to turn to books and their characters for escape and solace as he sets out to slay the particular dragon that he and Beverly Cleary’s protagonist […]

What Makes a Good Board Book?

color zoo

Before launching into any venture, whether it be conducting a meeting, planning a toddler story time, or simply making a trip to the grocery store, I take a cue from my inner two-year-old and ask why. Why am I doing this? What do I hope will happen? Thus, when faced with the task of assessing […]

What Ails Bibliotherapy?

The Broken Cat

Mention the word bibliotherapy, and children’s librarians and booksellers have similar tales to tell. The stories go something like this: a well-intentioned parent comes in and asks for a book about death. When questioned further, she explains that her child’s grandmother is dying and the child needs some books to help her understand what is […]

Teaching New Readers to Love Books

Stone Fox

Packing and unpacking. Those were the governing actions of my Army brat childhood. I learned how to size up the fashion, the accents, the special vocabulary, and the social climate of every place I lived. I learned the bike and walking routes around all the Army bases and was a quick study for the best […]

The Needle in the Nightlight

In a book called Zero to Lazy Eight: The Romance of Numbers, the chapter on the number seven includes this paragraph: In both the Roman Catholic Church and the Islamic faith, seven is the age of reason. Muslims below that age are not expected to observe the rituals of prayer and fasting that form a […]

Hunting Down Harry Potter: An Exploration of Religious Concerns about Children’s Literature

rowling_harry potter and the sorcerer's stone

“Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” (Dumbledore, Hogwarts headmaster, page 298, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) “For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto […]