On Spies and Purple Socks and Such

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

If you were a queer kid like me growing up in the sixties, I hope you were fortunate enough to come across books by Louise Fitzhugh. She may have saved your life, or at least made it a bit more comfortable. When I was eleven, I didn’t know I was gay; I only knew that […]

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 […]

“Our Miss Jones”

Elizabeth Orton Jones at work in her studio

by Annis Duff One afternoon, a year ago last February, Elizabeth Jones came to tea. It was quite an occasion, for although we had known her incarnate, so to speak, for a comparatively short time, we were very much at home with her because of our long and intimate friendship with Ragman of Paris, Maminka’s […]

Elizabeth Orton Jones’s Caldecott acceptance speech

Prayer for a Child

by Elizabeth Orton Jones *Read at the Awards Luncheon when the Caldecott Medal was given to Elizabeth Orton Jones for her illustrations in Rachel Field’s Prayer for a Child (Macmillan). There was once a little girl who found it very puzzling to say “thank you.” The words were too small for the feeling, the feeling […]

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 […]

Artist’s Choice

Who Dreams of Cheese? by Leonard Weisgard

An illustrator comments in each issue of The Horn Book upon a new picture book he particularly likes. Who Dreams of Cheese? comment by Elizabeth Orton Jones Who can draw dreams? Who can draw thoughts? Who can tell with a few words and a paint brush how it feels to be a bird — so […]

Horn Book reviews of Caldecott Medal winners, 1940-1949

Abraham Lincoln

1940 INGRI AND EDGAR PARIN D’AULAIRE, Author-Illustrators Abraham Lincoln (Doubleday) “Deep in the wilderness down in Kentucky there stood a cabin of roughly hewn logs. It was a poor little cabin of only one room. But the flames flickered gaily on the hearth….In this cabin lived a man named Thomas Lincoln with his wife and […]

In Remembrance: Bertha Mahony Miller

Bertha Mahony Miller

by Elizabeth Orton Jones THE BOOKSHOP FOR BOYS AND GIRLS In 1934 I was a young greenhorn artist living in New York City, trying to get started, anxious to be on my way. I spent hours each day going from place to place, my portfolio under my arm, my subject — children. I spent hours […]

In Defense of Butterflies

by Barbara Newhall Follett A flash of black and orange outside the upstairs window; I sprang up. leaving arithmetic problems to solve themselves. “Butterfly!” I yelled, for the information of anyone who wanted to know. I grabbed my net and raced outdoors. A butterfly as lustrous as the one that had just sailed by was […]