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Five questions for Jerry Pinkney

At the 2016 Youth Media Awards announcement at ALA Midwinter, the audience cheered loudly when prolific author/illustrator Jerry Pinkney was named the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement winner. A few minutes later, history was made — and the crowd again went wild! — when he also won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his […]

And the 2016 Calling Caldecott winners are…

Approximately four hundred of you (judging by the number of first-place votes) took part in our second vote yesterday, with every one of the remaining eight books on the ballot garnering significant support (see results below). Congratulations to all those deserving and distinguished picture books! and best of luck in the real world as the […]

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Author Phillip Hoose’s 2015 BGHB NF Honor Speech

In recent years I’ve endeavored to give young readers real-life protagonists their own age. I want my readers to ask themselves, “What would I have done?” I believe that teens experience sharper pangs of injustice than adults, and a greater determination to do something about it. Some, such as Claudette Colvin, have acted with amazing […]

Mwah mwah mwah mwah: movies

This is way behind the times, but how cool and clever is it that Trombone Shorty was the “voice” of the adults in the new Peanuts Movie? Read the Horn Book’s review of last year’s jazzy picture book Trombone Shorty by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews; illus. by Bryan Collier.     What movies did you check […]

Waiting

Many have praised Kevin Henkes’s artistic achievements in Waiting. The Horn Book review, for example, cites “confident brown outlines filled in with a muted palette of light greens, blues, and pinks in colored-pencil and watercolor.” While I recognize and laud such successes, I believe the criterion of “Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child […]

Kevin Henkes Talks with Roger

Sponsored by Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. You ask some very great writers and illustrators about how they do what they do, and it can seem as much a mystery to them as it is to you. […]

Funny Bones

You know that skeleton woman with the big flowered hat? Guess what? Her name is la Catrina, and she wasn’t created by Russell Stover. You may not recognize the name José Guadalupe Posada, but you’re probably familiar with his most iconic illustration. La Catrina is everywhere these days, especially since el dia de los muertos […]

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans

I was fortunate enough to be in the crowd when the Tamaki cousins’ This One Summer was announced as a Caldecott Honor book (at the Youth Media Awards, where the Coretta Scott King, Caldecott, Newbery, etc. are announced) this past January. I remember hearing more than a few audible gasps in the theater, and with […]

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

One thing the members of the Caldecott Committee are looking for each time they open a new box is the wonderful feeling of New. When I was on the committee, whenever I opened a Caldecott box, I would feel the burden of The Same. A book would remind me of another book. The illustrations would […]

A tale of two Winnies

When I was on the Caldecott committee, we were strict about following the rule that said we couldn’t discuss books published in other years, even if we were tempted to compare a book to its creator’s previous titles. But we certainly DID compare similar nominated books. In our year there were several books with similar […]