Impressions from the 2013 Newbery–Caldecott banquet

Three Newbery Medalists in the ladies room at the Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder banquet: Patricia MacLachlan, Cynthia Voigt, Katherine Paterson. Photo: Martha Parravano.

I’ve been lucky enough to attend quite a few Newbery–Caldecott banquets, and I wouldn’t have missed a single one, but — let’s be honest — there can be low-lights as well as highlights. An introduction may go on too long; a speech may be less than scintillating; the food may be bland at best; and […]

2013 ALA Round-Up

Caldecott cookie.

Suffering from ALA withdrawal? (Or maybe envy?) The Horn Book is here to help — we’ve got plenty of coverage of this year’s events. For even more, check out the July/August 2013 issue of The Horn Book Magazine. Profile of Caldecott Award winner Jon Klassen by his friend and collaborator Mac Barnett. Caldecott 2013: “The […]

Newbery 2013

On the one hand, it was a very good year for children’s books. The number of books that fit the Newbery’s definition of  “distinguished contribution to American literature for children” was, to my mind, unusually extensive. What they all had in common  was their excellence; in other ways, from genre to format to tone to […]

Caldecott 2013

z is for moose

As a book reviewer, one of the authors of the Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott blog, and a second-grade teacher, picture books are a huge part of my life. There are times when I feel overwhelmed by them. My dining room table groans with the weight of Books I Love, each vying for a coveted spot […]

A Profile of Katherine Paterson

paterson_at_wayside_550x364

If Scheherazade and Katherine Paterson went tale-to-tale in a 
storytelling contest, Katherine would be the one to keep her head. The Arabian maiden may have managed to stave off death for 1001 nights, but do the math: that’s less than three years. Katherine has been telling stories for forty years, and although her audience fell […]

A Profile of Katherine Applegate

applegate_grant_recent_550x367

Katherine Applegate was born a very long time ago in Michigan. She grew up in the suburbs, suffered no major traumas, was not shaped by great historical events, and never learned storytelling at the feet of a wise and wonderful grandmother. She attended school where she practiced obsessive hand-washing, procrastination, oversensitivity to insults, and the […]

A Profile of Jon Klassen

Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. Photo: Lolly Robinson.

This happened a few years ago. Jon Klassen, then a newly minted author-illustrator standing before a gymnasium’s worth of school-
children, selected a shy third grader from the audience to collaborate with him on a piece of spontaneous art. She stood next to Jon as he tore a big sheet of paper from a pad. “We’re […]

CSK Illustrator Award Acceptance

I, Too, Am America by Langston Hughes

Thank you to everyone who has come to be a part of this wonderful celebration of African American stories and imagery created by today’s best writers and illustrators. I give special thanks to God 
and family and to my publisher Simon & Schuster and all its great designers like Laurent Linn as well as other […]

A Profile of Bryan Collier

Bryan's "self-portrait."

It was June 14th, 2011, pretty much a workday like any other at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. An art director’s job consists of juggling e-mails, meetings, art notes, book designs, and 
the like. I knew one highlight that day would be Bryan Collier bringing in his first finished piece of art for […]

Coretta Scott King Author Award Acceptance

Hand in Hand

This morning, I would like to talk to you about black men. Let’s 
face it: as an African American woman, it is perhaps unlikely that 
I have authored a book and am speaking on behalf of black men. 
But here I am. So, to begin, I’d like to share the story of a man whose […]