A Second Look: Harriet the Spy

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Harriet the Spy was published in 1964. That was the year I read it twelve times. That was the year our school bookstore kept running out of green composition notebooks, and the cafeteria was plagued with requests for tomato sandwiches. A memorable year for many of us. Now, sixteen years later, I take a closer […]

Writing for the Very Young: An Emotional Déjà Vu

charlotte zolotow

by Charlotte Zolotow The more I try to analyze children’s books — or the fusion of feelings and events that goes into writing for children — the more I realize what a mystery children’s thoughts are and what a mystery the whole process of writing for children is. Part of it is the imagery and […]

Review of If Snow Falls

if snow falls

If Snow Falls: A Story for December by Jon Agee; illus. by the author Primary     Pantheon     36 pp. 1982     0-394-85520-5     $5.95 Library ed. ISBN 0-394-95520-X     $6.99 Calling to mind the individual frames of a film, small richly colored paintings progress sequentially in concert with the lulling rhythm of a brief text. The first page shows […]

Review of Finger Rhymes

finger rhymes

Finger Rhymes compiled by Marc Brown; illus. by the compiler Preschool, Primary     Dutton/Unicorn     32 pp. 1980     0-525-29732-4     $8.95 Fourteen familiar finger rhymes, one to a page, are accompanied by black-and-white line drawings shaded with gray, old-fashioned in detail but contemporary in style. At the head of each appropriate line of text, directions for finger […]

Horn Book reviews of Caldecott Medal winners, 1980-1989

ox-cart man

1980 DONALD HALL Ox-Cart Man (Viking) Illustrated by Barbara Cooney Like a pastoral symphony translated into picture book format, the stunning combination of text and illustrations re-creates the mood of nineteenth-century rural New England. Economical and straightforward, the narrative achieves a poetic tone through the use of alliteration and  repetition, as in the description of […]

Profiles of Cynthia Voigt

dicey's song

Cynthia Voigt’s mother and daughter profile the author to celebrate her 1983 Newbery Medal Award win for Dicey’s Song. by Elise K. Irving When Cynthia called that Monday night, she asked if I was sitting down before she told me that she had won the Newbery. And she was right. It is an overwhelming honor. […]

An Interview with Robert Cormier

beyond the chocolate war

by Anita Silvey Beyond the Chocolate War by Robert Cormier is being published by Knopf on April 21, 1985. This interview, conducted at Robert Cormier’s home in Leominster, Massachusetts, took place on December 20, 1984, and focuses on the new book, his methods of writing, and the influences on his work. AS: Why did you […]

William Steig’s Horn Book Magazine cover

steigcoverlg

William Steig’s Horn Book Magazine cover from November/December 1986 through September/October 1987

Could Randolph Caldecott Win the Caldecott Medal?

by Anita Silvey With this editorial I do not mean to cast aspersion on this year’s Caldecott choice or on any particular choice of the Caldecott Committee over the past dozen years but to talk about a trend in the selection process. Since I worked with and supported Chris Van Allsburg during the beginning of […]