The Horn Book http://www.hbook.com Publications about books for children and young adults Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:01:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Books in Spanish: A problem of access? http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/blogs/lollys-classroom/books-spanish-problem-access/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/blogs/lollys-classroom/books-spanish-problem-access/#respond Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:01:56 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=39384 When working as an elementary teacher in the United States, I found it hard to find original children’s literature in Spanish language — books originally published in Spanish, that is. As a fourth-grade public school teacher in a dual-immersion and bilingual transitional programs in Colorado and North Carolina, it was difficult to try to read […]

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When working as an elementary teacher in the United States, I found it hard to find original children’s literature in Spanish language — books originally published in Spanish, that is.

As a fourth-grade public school teacher in a dual-immersion and bilingual transitional programs in Colorado and North Carolina, it was difficult to try to read books originally written in English and translated into Spanish. Publishers had made the effort to translate some widely known, classic titles such as Where the Wild Things Are (Donde viven los monstruos) or Goodnight Night, Moon (Buenas Noches, Luna). It initially seemed like this could be a good thing because the children already had the background knowledge for making connections to these books. But the reverse happened when they were read in class.

The children didn’t much like the Spanish version for the same reason it’s hard to read a translation of a Pablo Neruda poem or a Mario Vargas Llosa novel in English. As a native Spanish speaker, even the children could hear the forced pace and tone in the Spanish version. “It sounds funny,” they’d say. In the end, I resorted to testing the limits of airline weight restrictions and carried books in my suitcase back from trips made to Latin America or Spain.

marquez siestadelmartes 214x300 Books in Spanish: A problem of access?There were several examples of in-class success, such as La siesta del martes by Gabriel García Márquez. Though not known as a children’s author, a Spanish-language editor made the short story available in a children’s edition. The text was unchanged and illustrations were added. It was a hit! The story takes place over the course of one day and was ideal for teaching the use of time in a writer’s workshop. Students were engaged and motivated and most importantly they used connectors and adjectives to establish time in their writing. Students in my classroom were fifty percent native English speakers and fifty percent Spanish speakers.

There is a rich children’s literature in Spanish-speaking countries and there are several large publishing houses in Spain, Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia. Testament to this is the merger between Carmen Balcells, literary agent for many of the Spanish-language’s greatest writers over the past half-century, and the New York-based Andrew Wylie agency. There would be nothing better than using original literature to teach our kids instead of giving them translations or versions of literature in English.

Is this an issue of know-how — affecting demand for original literature in the United States — or an issue of access? After all, as I learned lugging books from Latin America and Spain, the problem of access was significant, as evidenced by the Balcells-Wylie merger. Then again, maybe the access wasn’t there because the demand wasn’t large enough to merit paying for the copyrights. I don’t know. Perhaps one day soon we will find out.

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Review of Little Roja Riding Hood http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/choosing-books/review-of-the-week/review-little-roja-riding-hood/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/choosing-books/review-of-the-week/review-little-roja-riding-hood/#respond Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:00:16 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=39496 Little Roja Riding Hood by Susan Middleton Elya; 
illus. by Susan Guevara Primary    Putnam    32 pp. 4/14    978-0-399-24767-5    $16.99    g Little Red rides an ATV to deliver la canasta (basket) to her ailing abuela in this hip updated version of the traditional tale. Liberally sprinkled with Spanish words and phrases, the rhyming text is fresh […]

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elya little roja riding hood Review of Little Roja Riding HoodLittle Roja Riding Hood
by Susan Middleton Elya; 
illus. by Susan Guevara
Primary    Putnam    32 pp.
4/14    978-0-399-24767-5    $16.99    g

Little Red rides an ATV to deliver la canasta (basket) to her ailing abuela in this hip updated version of the traditional tale. Liberally sprinkled with Spanish words and phrases, the rhyming text is fresh and funny (“‘Abue,’ he said in a high squeaky voz, / ‘I’m sorry to hear of your terrible tos’”) and often unexpected. (For example, “basket” is rhymed with “who asked it?”)  And just as clever as the quirky text are the watercolor, ink, and gouache illustrations that contain plenty of humor and multiple layers of meaning. The Three Blind Mice accompany Little Roja on her journey, while three magpies follow and call out warnings that appear in flowing ribbons that act as dialogue bubbles. Two little trickster elves make mischief throughout. But best of all is Abuela herself, shown here as an aging hippie who appears to be working on a manuscript revision in her sick bed. She doesn’t really need rescuing — she protects herself by holding up a statue of St. Jude; Little Roja joins in by throwing a pot of hot sopa at the wolf. Once the wolf is vanquished, capable Abuela discourages future intruders by installing a security sistema, while Little Roja trades in her red hood for one with tiger stripes. An inventive spin on a familiar tale, this will stand up to repeated readings and viewings.

From the July/August 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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And straight on ’til morning http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/blogs/out-of-the-box/straight-til-morning/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/blogs/out-of-the-box/straight-til-morning/#respond Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:41:49 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=39551 The other day my friend’s four-year-old daughter asked me, “Guess what I wished for?” I was a little nervous about this — after all, isn’t it bad luck to tell others your wish? — but she insisted. “A puppy? A pony? A baby elephant?” “No, it wasn’t an animal at all. It was the second […]

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finding neverland musical And straight on til morningThe other day my friend’s four-year-old daughter asked me, “Guess what I wished for?”

I was a little nervous about this — after all, isn’t it bad luck to tell others your wish? — but she insisted.

“A puppy? A pony? A baby elephant?”

No, it wasn’t an animal at all. It was the second star to the right!” I didn’t follow this logic, so she patiently(ish) explained, “I wished to go to Neverland!” Well, obviously. What a dumb grown-up moment.

Brand-new musical Finding Neverland, based on the 2004 Johnny Depp movie about author J.M. Barrie and his friendship with the Llewelyn Davies family, opens tomorrow at Cambridge’s American Repertory Theater. I should probably go and get back in touch with my inner lost kid.

What’s your favorite Peter Pan adaptation? Hook will always have my heart. (Bangerang!)

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Board Book Roundup: Summer 2014 Edition http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/using-books/board-book-roundup-summer-2014-edition/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/using-books/board-book-roundup-summer-2014-edition/#respond Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:20:09 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=39479 This column is part of a series of recommended board book roundups, formerly published twice a year, now published every season. You can find the previous installments here. Don’t miss Viki Ash’s primer “What Makes a Good Board Book?” from the March/April 2010 Horn Book Magazine. Baby Animal Farm by Karen Blair Candlewick    18 pp. […]

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This column is part of a series of recommended board book roundups, formerly published twice a year, now published every season. You can find the previous installments here. Don’t miss Viki Ash’s primer “What Makes a Good Board Book?” from the March/April 2010 Horn Book Magazine.

blair baby animal farm Board Book Roundup: Summer 2014 EditionBaby Animal Farm
by Karen Blair
Candlewick    18 pp.
4/14    978-0-7636-7069-6    $6.99

Blair, doing her best Helen Oxenbury impersonation (successfully!), depicts a gaggle of cutie-patootie toddlers (accompanied by a puppy and one of the kids’ teddy bear) visiting a farm populated by baby animals: ducklings, chicks, piglet, etc. Simple, active sentences include accompanying kid-pleasing sound effects: “Feed the lamb. Baa, baa, baa… / Time for lunch. Nom, nom, nom.”

 

deneux jojos first word book Board Book Roundup: Summer 2014 EditionJojo’s First Word Book
by Xavier Deneux
Twirl    60 pp.
3/14    978-2-8480-1943-7    $16.99

Little rabbit Jojo and his sister Lulu learn basic kid-skills: getting dressed, eating with utensils, using the potty, etc. Each clear, uncluttered illustration shows one or both bunnies with items around them labeled with simple words (in script, for what it’s worth): “Jojo and Lulu’s house: chimney, roof, window, mailbox, door.” The sweet illustrations feature lots of rounded edges and saturated colors. Sturdy pages include thick tabs to quickly flip to four sections (“Jojo and Lulu,” “Home,” “Out and about,” “Animal friends”).

 

holub be patient pandora Board Book Roundup: Summer 2014 EditionBe Patient, Pandora! [Mini Myths]
by Joan Holub and Leslie Patricelli
Appleseed/Abrams    26 pp.
9/14    978-1-4197-0951-7    $6.95

 

holub play nice hercules Board Book Roundup: Summer 2014 EditionPlay Nice, Hercules! [Mini Myths]
by Joan Holub and Leslie Patricelli
Appleseed/Abrams    26 pp.
9/14    978-1-4197-0954-8    $6.95

Board book master Patricelli (Yummy Yucky; No No Yes Yes; The Birthday Box, among many others starring the adorable gender-neutral baby with the single spiral curl) and Ready-to-Read maven Holub (recent coauthor of the middle-grade Goddess Girls series) team up for these witty introductions to Greek myths for preschoolers — and also starring preschoolers. Hercules’s bearded, jeans-wearing dad tells him to “play nice” with his baby sister (“I am not nice. I am strong!”). Pandora’s mom warns: “Do not open the box” — which turns out to contain cupcakes. The last page in each book gives a very brief synopsis of each Greek myth.

 

samoun how gator says goodbye Board Book Roundup: Summer 2014 EditionHow Gator Says Good-Bye!
by Abigail Samoun; illus. by Sarah Watts
Sterling    22 pp.
2/14    978-1-4549-0821-0    $6.95

 

samoun how hippo says hello Board Book Roundup: Summer 2014 EditionHow Hippo Says Good-Bye!
by Abigail Samoun; illus. by Sarah Watts
Sterling    22 pp.
2/14    978-1-4549-0820-3    $6.95

In each book the title animal character visits seven countries — France, Russia, Egypt, India, China, Japan, Argentina — then returns home to the U.S. (a map appears at the end). Left-hand pages include text (“He says ‘Alvida!’ in India”) with pronunciation (“[AL-veh-da]”), while right-hand pages feature friendly scenes of Hippo or Gator smiling and waving at the people (well, animals) who live in each place. Simple shapes and subdued hues make these useful books eye-pleasing and approachable.

 

thomas birthday for cow Board Book Roundup: Summer 2014 EditionA Birthday for Cow
by Jan Thomas
Houghton    38 pp.
4/14    978-0-544-17424-5    $7.99

Thomas’s gleefully silly picture book about turnip-obsessed Duck trying to hijack Cow’s birthday cake prep translates well into a board-book version. If anything, Duck’s personality is even more outsized in this smaller format, and little kids will easily be able to follow the action and the humor.

 

van genechten 8 9 and 10 2 Board Book Roundup: Summer 2014 Edition8 9 and 10 [Odd One Out]
by Guido van Genechten
Clavis Toddler    20 pp.
2/14    978-1605371870    $12.95

 

van genechten happy angry sad Board Book Roundup: Summer 2014 EditionHappy Angry Sad [Odd One Out]
by Guido van Genechten
Clavis Toddler    20 pp.
2/14    978-1605371863    $12.95

These lively books reward close observation from little kids. Each spread features an array of adorable, nearly identical looking critters (flamingos, camels, rhinos, spiders). The text asks a series of questions, including those that are number-based in 8 9 and 10 and emotion-based in Happy Angry Sad: e.g., for ladybugs — “Who has 4 dots and who has 5? Who can’t keep up? And who is going to the beach?” Spoiler alert: at the end of 8 9 and 10 all the animals end up at the beach; the mountains are their destination in Happy Angry Sad.

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Review of Like No Other http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/choosing-books/review-of-the-week/review-of-like-no-other/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/choosing-books/review-of-the-week/review-of-like-no-other/#respond Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:00:34 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=39492 Like No Other by Una LaMarche Middle School, High School    Razorbill/Penguin    347 pp. 7/14    978-1-59514-674-8    $17.99    g How’s this for a meet cute? New York teens Devorah and Jaxon get stuck in a hospital elevator during a hurricane. Though their encounter is a fairly brief one, it’s also intense, and both come away with that […]

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lamarche like no other Review of Like No OtherLike No Other
by Una LaMarche
Middle School, High School    Razorbill/Penguin    347 pp.
7/14    978-1-59514-674-8    $17.99    g

How’s this for a meet cute? New York teens Devorah and Jaxon get stuck in a hospital elevator during a hurricane. Though their encounter is a fairly brief one, it’s also intense, and both come away with that love-at-first-sight feeling. Here’s where things get complicated. Devorah is a Hasidic Jew, and a frum one at that (“basically the Yiddish equivalent of ‘hopeless goody two-shoes’”). Jaxon is black. They live in present-day Crown Heights; and although, as Jaxon says, “the neighborhood has become so gentrified that I’m more likely to get hit by an artisanal gluten-free scone than a bullet, let’s be real,” tensions can still run high, especially within Devorah’s ultra-conservative family. Even though Devorah’s menacing brother-in-law, a member of the Shomrim (Orthodox neighborhood watch), is on to them, she still can’t resist accidentally-on-purpose bumping into Jax at his work and accepting the cell phone he sneaks (in a grand romantic gesture) into her yard. The story is told from the teens’ alternating perspectives. While Jax is a little too good to be true, Devorah, whether agonizing over her love life or sharing informative details about Hasidic daily life and religious philosophy, is believable and engaging. Her struggle between tradition and modernity, filial duty and personal fulfillment, is complicated and realistic; just because she doesn’t want an arranged marriage doesn’t mean she’s ready to turn her back on her family and her culture. This leads to a conclusion that, while bittersweet, is still hopeful.

From the July/August 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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Yaqui’s text set http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/blogs/lollys-classroom/yaquis-text-set/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/blogs/lollys-classroom/yaquis-text-set/#respond Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:01:13 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=39411 Since I wrote recently about using a text set built around the idea of respect and the title Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina, a few people have asked what other texts we used alongside it. Our* essential question was “What makes someone worthy of respect?” We were aiming for a […]

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medina yaqui delgado1 Yaquis text set Since I wrote recently about using a text set built around the idea of respect and the title Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina, a few people have asked what other texts we used alongside it. Our* essential question was “What makes someone worthy of respect?”

We were aiming for a set that spanned genres, and so the resulting set was both too big to use in our short time but also made of texts that weren’t only from the YA world. It included the some of the following:

  • Poems like “The Ballad of the Landlord” by Langston Hughes and “Ex-Basketball Player” by John Updike
  • A series of quotes about respect from famous people
  • The short story ‘Chuckie’ by Victor LaValle
  • A couple of articles about bystanding and upstanding when bad things happen to others
  • Lou Holtz’s famous first locker room speech at Notre Dame
  • A couple of pieces from the This I Believe collection having to do with self-respect (thisibelieve.org)
  • Several anecdotes from the book Discovering Wes Moore about choices, misunderstandings, and facing adversity

This group of texts are all related to the idea of respect and who gets it and who doesn’t, and the different readings allowed us to consider respect from a variety of vantage points as we tried to put ourselves in the shoes of Piddy and Yaqui in the anchor novel.  They also gave us lots of time to dabble in writing different genres.

Text sets are such a fun way to really think hard about important stuff, and I’m excited to keep adding to this set about respect.

*This curriculum for the BGA/BU Summer Institute was developed in collaboration with my awesome friends Marisa Olivo and Lucia Mandelbaum from BGA and Scott Seider from BU. 

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Kidlit crafts http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/blogs/out-of-the-box/kidlit-crafts/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/blogs/out-of-the-box/kidlit-crafts/#respond Mon, 21 Jul 2014 16:30:41 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=39443 Lately I’ve been drooling over the craft tutorials at EPBOT: Geekery, Girliness, and Goofing Off, another blog written by Jen Yates, mastermind behind the genius and hilarious Cake Wrecks. (If you’re not familiar with Cake Wrecks, start with “Grammar geeks, UNITE!” and gorgeous children’s lit cakes.) EPBOT is pretty much what it sounds like from […]

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Lately I’ve been drooling over the craft tutorials at EPBOT: Geekery, Girliness, and Goofing Off, another blog written by Jen Yates, mastermind behind the genius and hilarious Cake Wrecks. (If you’re not familiar with Cake Wrecks, start with “Grammar geeks, UNITE!” and gorgeous children’s lit cakes.) EPBOT is pretty much what it sounds like from the subtitle: tutorials for geeky, non-geeky, and home decor DIY projects; links to other geeky content (check out this Hobbit-themed birthday party); ooh, shiny! jewelry pictures; and cat pictures. In other words, awesome.

I’m geeky and crafty, but not frequently at the same time, so it’s nice to have some guidance in how to combine the two. I love how nerdy Jen’s tutorials are — both in aesthetic (with their geek culture content) and in approach (detail-oriented, thorough, efficient, authentic to the source material). They seem pretty idiot-proof, too, although I haven’t tried any myself yet… I can’t decide where to start! Here a few kidlit-related projects; click on the pictures for links to the tutorials:

epbot white rabbit mask and watch Kidlit crafts

White Rabbit steampunk mask and pocketwatch

epbot wands Kidlit crafts

LED light-up wizard wands…

epbot wand display Kidlit crafts

…and, of course, an Olivander wand display

epbot death eater mask Kidlit crafts

Deatheater masks (don’t you kinda want to be a Deatheater now?)

epbot frog and toad purse Kidlit crafts

book purse dos and don’ts

Now that I’m done fangirling over a fellow fangirl, I want to know: have you made any crafts inspired by favorite books?

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Review of Pom and Pim http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/choosing-books/review-of-the-week/review-pom-pim/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/choosing-books/review-of-the-week/review-pom-pim/#respond Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:59:19 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=39486 Pom and Pim by Lena Landström; illus. by 
Olof Landström; trans. from 
the Swedish by Julia Marshall Preschool    Gecko    32 pp. 3/14    978-1-877579-66-0    $16.95 Pom is a small child with sparse orange curls, clad in a long purple sweater; Pim is Pom’s inanimate sidekick of indeterminate species: a dirty pink, with two eyes and four […]

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landstrom pom and pim Review of Pom and Pimstar2 Review of Pom and PimPom and Pim
by Lena Landström; illus. by 
Olof Landström; trans. from 
the Swedish by Julia Marshall
Preschool    Gecko    32 pp.
3/14    978-1-877579-66-0    $16.95

Pom is a small child with sparse orange curls, clad in a long purple sweater; Pim is Pom’s inanimate sidekick of indeterminate species: a dirty pink, with two eyes and four floppy appendages, the better to be dragged around by. “Pom and Pim are going out. It’s warm. The sun is shining. What luck!” But ahead, lying in wait, are a rock and a piece of paper. Pom trips over the rock (“Ouch! Bad luck”) and does a face-plant on the paper — which turns out to be “Money! What luck!” Small adventures ensue, alternating good and bad luck. Eating a huge ice-cream cone leads to a tummy ache — but lying down to recover leads to spying a pink balloon above the bed; taking the balloon outside for a walk (“The balloon bounces beautifully”) leads to it popping on a thorn bush. Pom is downcast but then, indomitable, comes up with the ideal use for the limp leftovers: “A raincoat for Pim!” And what luck: it’s now raining. In matching pink coats the two friends splash through a spare but joyful double-page spread of raindrops and puddles. The brief text and droll ink and watercolor illustrations keep the focus tightly on Pom and Pim, working together brilliantly to bring out the considerable situational humor; Pom’s facial expressions telegraph every fluctuating emotion. The good luck/bad luck progression will let readers predict events — and then allow them to (perhaps) be happily surprised by the closing twist. Quirkier and much smaller in scope than classics such as Remy Charlip’s Fortunately and Margery Cuyler’s That’s Good! That’s Bad! — but just as entrancing.

From the July/August 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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A winter’s tale http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/blogs/read-roger/winters-tale/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/blogs/read-roger/winters-tale/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 14:46:58 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=39483 If you aren’t completely burned out on dystopian fiction, do go see* Snowpiercer, a big, violent, gorgeous, baroque movie about the end of civilization, its last remnant perpetually traveling the ice-covered globe in a nonstop great big train. There is NO love triangle, with eros limited to a couple of crypto-gay warrior-bonding types, and plenty to […]

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exit A winters taleIf you aren’t completely burned out on dystopian fiction, do go see* Snowpiercer, a big, violent, gorgeous, baroque movie about the end of civilization, its last remnant perpetually traveling the ice-covered globe in a nonstop great big train. There is NO love triangle, with eros limited to a couple of crypto-gay warrior-bonding types, and plenty to thrill your (mine, anyway) inner ten-year-old, like an exciting shootout between cars as the train curves around an enormous bend. There’s high camp, too, supplied by Tilda Swinton and Alison Pill as the banality of evil and a gun-toting schoolteacher, respectively. (Wait, did I just repeat myself?) And Ed Harris is on hand, playing–spoiler alert–the very same part he played in The Truman Show.

But best of all is the look of the thing, from the icy landscapes and ruined, empty cities the train charges through to the train itself, from the squalid cars at the back where the slave labor lives to the sleek sushi bar, spa, and disco for the more privileged passengers at the front. One of the more subversive elements of the film is the way it gets you to think “why, yes, I could totally enjoy watching from the dome car as the world freezes to death. Waiter!”

The ending–spoiler alert again–is beautifully and starkly ambiguous. Life or death. I understand that the French graphic novel on which the movie is based has a sequel, but truly: none needed.

*In a movie theater, if you can. While the film is available on TV as an on-demand feature, you really want the big screen and sound for this one.

 

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Links we love http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/blogs/out-of-the-box/twitter-link-roundup/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/07/blogs/out-of-the-box/twitter-link-roundup/#respond Fri, 18 Jul 2014 20:50:42 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=39474 We’re on Twitter — follow us @HornBook (and Roger Sutton at @RogerReads), then come say hi! This week we shared these kidlit-related links: Beautiful Propaganda Posters Honor the Districts in The Hunger Games (Design Taxi) Classic Kids’ Books Cakes (Cake Wrecks) Ten Things that Make an Editor Stop Reading Your Manuscript (Elizabeth Law Reads blog) […]

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madeline cake Links we love

amazing Madeline cake by My Sweet Indulgence, via Cake Wrecks

We’re on Twitter — follow us @HornBook (and Roger Sutton at @RogerReads), then come say hi! This week we shared these kidlit-related links:

Beautiful Propaganda Posters Honor the Districts in The Hunger Games (Design Taxi)

Classic Kids’ Books Cakes (Cake Wrecks)

Ten Things that Make an Editor Stop Reading Your Manuscript (Elizabeth Law Reads blog)

J.K. Rowling Live-Blogged The Quidditch World Cup Final and It Is Magical (BuzzFeed)

Literature’s John Hughes: Rainbow Rowell on Her Love Affair with Music and Writing (BuzzFeed)

Great Children’s Books Author Bake-Off (The Guardian)

The Abhorsen’s Seven Bells Charms

Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and More Authors Dress as Their Favorite Characters (Nerdist)

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