Marcia Brown

by Janet A. Loranger Thirty-seven years ago, Marcia Brown published her first picture book for children: The Little Carousel.* On June 28, 1983, she received her third Caldecott Medal for Shadow. Those years from 1946 to 1983 have encompassed one of the most distinguished careers in American children’s books. That her latest book has received […]

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 […]

Nancy Drew and Her Rivals: No Contest (Part II)

password to larkspur lane

What seem to me to be the telling differences between Nancy and her cohorts fall, very roughly, into two categories. The first is autonomy; the second is a steady, profound, but largely covert and, I think, largely inadvertent feminism. Harriet Adams’s imitators didn’t miss the point about autonomy — which was, after all, plain as […]

Nancy Drew and Her Rivals: No Contest (Part I)

secret of the old clock

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Harriet S. Adams may have been, next to Hemingway, the most sincerely flattered author of the 1930s. Though her father, Edward Stratemeyer, founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate, originated the Nancy Drew mystery series with three books published shortly before his death in 1930, thereafter, according to […]