Beyond biography

woodson_brown girl dreaming

With storytelling ease and pitch-perfect pacing, the following works of narrative nonfiction for older readers bring their subjects to brilliant life, elevating the sometimes-staid genre of biography to literary art form. Jacqueline Woodson’s memoir-in-verse Brown Girl Dreaming is so immediate that readers will feel they are experiencing the author’s childhood right along with her. Born […]

Shout Science! app review

shout science menu

Shout Science! (Scott Dubois, 2013) is a comic-style nonfiction app that tells three stories of figures from the European Scientific Revolution. The first biography follows Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717), a watercolor painter and insect collector in Frankfurt, Germany. Merian observed the life cycle of butterflies, including metamorphosis, and documented it in two books she wrote […]

The Horn Book reviews the Big Words Biographies

martin's big words

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport; illus. by Bryan Collier Primary     Jump at the Sun/Hyperion    40 pp. 9/01     0-7868-0714-8     $15.99 Library ed. 0-7868-2591-X     $16.49 This is one book you can judge by its cover. The space on the front jacket is entirely filled […]

Today’s Picture Book Biographies: Back Matter Matters

borden_thejourney

Picture book biographies broke out of their formulaic cradle-to-grave structure in the late 1990s and began telling authentic stories with new verve. Fictionalized dialogue and made-up scenes gave way to well-researched, fact-based narratives, often focusing on a particular aspect of the subject’s life. Today’s picture book biographies also include, as a matter of course, supporting […]

Persons of Interest: The Untold Rewards of Picture Book Biographies

Abraham Lincoln

It didn’t exactly have to happen. In 1936, Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire, treasured for their radiant portrayals of child life in Ingri’s native Norway, took up George Washington, and with the wide eyes of new Americans and the same sensitivity to their child audience, struck a chord.  Other d’Aulaire picture book biographies of American […]

Review of Miss Moore Thought Otherwise

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children by Jan Pinborough; 
illus. by Debby Atwell Primary    Houghton    40 pp. 3/13    978-0-547-47105-1    $16.99 Nowadays, Anne Carroll Moore is remembered as the fiercest of the library ladies whose influence on children’s library service and publishing was both inspirational and — sometimes — intractable. […]

Picturing Imogen

imogen

In the March issue of Notes from the Horn Book, in honor of Women’s History Month, I picked out some recent picture-book biographies focusing on women who left their marks on society. Another worthy offering is Imogen: The Mother of Modernism and Three Boys (Cameron + Company, December 2012) by Amy Novesky, author of the […]

Extraordinary women

Sweethearts of Rhythm by Marilyn Nelson and Jerry Pinkney

We’ve updated our Women’s History Month reading list with biographies for a wide range of grade levels, all recently published and recommended by the Horn Book Magazine. From fifteen-year-old civil rights activist Claudette Colvin to former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and pilot Amelia Earhart to choreographer Martha Graham, these women broke the rules and led […]

Biographies for Women’s History Month

rappaport_helen's big world_276x300

The books recommended below were all published within the last several years and reviewed by The Horn Book Magazine. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.   Picture Books Suggested grade level for each entry: K–3 Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty written by Linda Glaser; illus. […]

Creative lives

Drawing from Memory

Recent posts have given us tantalizing glimpses behind the scenes with Rebecca Stead, Lee Kingman Natti, and Shaun Tan. Read more about the lives of artists you admire — including cartoonists, dancers, writers, musicians, and mimes! — with our new artist memoir and biography booklist. These  titles were all published within the last several years […]