Caldecott at 75 extras

Caldecott cookie.

The Caldecott Medal marks its seventy-fifth anniversary this year. In a year-long series of articles, librarian and children’s literature historian K. T. Horning looked at one seminal but unheralded Caldecott book of each decade — identifying trends, noting the changing nature of the picture book, wrestling with issues and definitions. We’ve collected original Horn Book […]

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 […]

A Profile of Gerald McDermott

from left: Gerald McDermott, Priscilla Moulton, and former Horn Book editor Paul Heins

by Priscilla Moulton The awarding of the 1975 Caldecott Medal for Arrow to the Sun (Viking) concludes a critical period for Gerald McDermott, a  period begun two years earlier when Anansi the Spider (Holt) was designated a Caldecott Honor Book. Gerald then realized that his work as a book illustrator was valued by children’s librarians, […]

On the Rainbow Trail

mcdermott_arrowcover

by Gerald McDermott I’ve been on a journey past paper mountains, flying men, foolish spiders, talking trees, and the flaming arrows of the solar fire. It  has been a journey of discovery through the bizarre and exotic forms of world mythology. The Rainbow Trail has become a path for my work as an artist. The […]

Horn Book reviews of Caldecott Medal winners, 1970-1979

sylvester and the magic pebble

1970 WILLIAM STEIG, Author-Illustrator Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (Windmill/Simon) Sylvester the young donkey was a pebble collector; one day he found a flaming red stone, shiny and round — and quite  unaccountably able to grant wishes. Overjoyed, Sylvester was planning to share his magic with his family when “a mean, hungry lion” appeared. Startled […]