Moving moment No. 12

BMM

Elf on the shelf. Her nephew told me I was making Bertha laugh in Heaven, so that’s something.

Book caravan

Book Caravan

Last week we received a permissions request from librarian Orty Ortwein to accompany his article on the Book Caravan, brainchild of Mother Horn Book Bertha Mahony Miller. It put us in a nostalgic mood, so here’s some more information about Horn Book history: articles about the Book Caravan, the Bookshop for Boys and Girls, and […]

Our Bertha

I’m over at Kidlit Celebrates Women’s History Month today,  talking about Horn Book founder Bertha Mahony Miller. See also my review of a new picture book biography of one of Bertha’s great friends, Miss Moore (Thought Otherwise).

The Horn Book’s inaugural editorial

Horn Book Magazine, October 1924

We chose this title — THE HORNBOOK — because of its early and honorable place in the history of children’s literature, but in our use of it we are giving it a lighter meaning, as Mr. Caldecott’s three jovial huntsmen on the cover suggest. Just as they are so full of exuberant joy for the […]

Realms of Gold and Granite

Horn Book Magazine 75th Anniversary cover

The Bookshop for Boys and Girls was born, in a twelvemonth, with a pedigree and a distinguished list of patrons. Its role was largely determined from the outset. But life, real life, is also a string of accidents. Bertha Mahony was thirty-three and restless after ten years as a good right-hand at Boston’s Women’s Educational […]

Horn Book Reminiscence

Elizabeth Orton Jones

by Elizabeth Orton Jones Tchrr-r-r-r! The phone would ring. I’d answer, and after a considerable while I’d hear a faint little quavery voice, as if someone were calling me from beyond the Pleiades…“E-li-i-izabeth?” It would be my dear friend Bertha Mahony Miller, calling from Ashburnham, Massachusetts, about seventeen miles from Mason, New Hampshire, where I […]

Please Come to Boston

in the fall. We’re in the midst of planning the Horn Book at Simmons, a one day colloquium on October 2nd, focused on this year’s crop of Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners and honor books. When Cathie Mercier (Simmons College), Andrew Thorne (Media Source) and I first began planning the day, we didn’t even know […]

Beatrix and Bertha

Bertha Mahony Miller waiting for the train to Boston, circa 1950.

Beatrix Potter’s resistance to critics and fans writing about her books is well documented. In 1939 Margaret Lane, who would later become Potter’s first biographer, received a classic brush-off: So I wrote to Beatrix Potter, as politely and respectfully as I knew how, telling her of my lifelong pleasure in her work, and my admiration, […]