Five questions for Eric Carle


In The Nonsense Show, iconic picture-book creator Eric Carle reveals depths of previously unknown daffiness. A human baby sits in a kangaroo’s pouch, a lion is a people-tamer, a mouse catches a cat. Adults will appreciate the matter-of-fact surrealism; kids will simply find the whole thing a riotous hoot. 1. There’s a true three-year-old’s sense […]

Five questions for Sophie Kinsella: Crossover Week edition

Photo: John Swannell.

Sophie Kinsella, author of the Shopaholic series for adults, is known as “The Queen of Romantic Comedy.” Her new book, Finding Audrey, is her first foray into YA territory…and it’s a good one. Kinsella graciously submitted to The Horn Book’s Five Questions treatment during Crossover Week. 1. Your portrayal of anxiety disorders is so vivid […]

What ELSE do you do?: five questions for Deborah Taylor

Deborah Taylor is third from the left in this 2014 photo of the "Cincy Gang." Photo by Alison Dougherty Berkowitz

This series of interviews debuted last spring with five questions for author T.A. Barron; now I’m following it up with five more for one of my favorite librarians, Deborah Taylor, coordinator of school and student services for the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. Deb and I have been friends for more than thirty years since […]

Five questions for Sonia Manzano

Photo: Edward Pagan

Sonia Manzano’s forty-four-year run as Sesame Street‘s Maria recently came to a close, but that doesn’t mean she’s taking it easy. Her newest book, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx (Scholastic, 14 years and up), is a memoir in which Manzano recounts her rough childhood and adolescence, ending just as she auditions […]

Five questions for Antoinette Portis


Antoinette Portis won a Geisel Honor in 2007 for her picture book Not a Box (Harper, 3–6 years), a celebration of child’s imaginative vision over the skepticism that tends to creep in later in life. Her latest picture book Wait (Roaring Brook/Porter, 3–6 years) likewise encourages children — and their parents — to stop and […]

Five questions for Ann Bausum

ann bausum

Ann Bausum has written nonfiction about U.S. presidents and first ladies, muckrakers, Freedom Riders, suffragists, immigrants, and world wars. Her latest book Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights (Viking, 11–15 years) focuses on the 1969 Stonewall riots, which helped kick things off (spectacularly; there was a kick-line) in NYC and galvanize the […]

Five questions for Christian Robinson

Christian Robinson

With Last Stop on Market Street (Putnam, 5–8 years), author Matt de la Peña and illustrator Christian Robinson take readers on a bus journey through the city — along the way exploring a young boy’s warm relationship with his nana, her sunny outlook on life, and their interactions with the diverse people they encounter. We […]

What ELSE do you do?: five questions for T. A. Barron

Author photo 2014 for Horn Book

Author T. A. Barron instituted the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes in 2000. Named for the author’s mother, the Prize is given annually to fifteen young people “who have made a significant positive difference to people and/or our environment.” Each winner receives $5,000 toward his or her work or higher education. Barron’s latest fantasy […]

Five questions for Nikki Grimes

nikki grimes

April is National Poetry Month, and what better way to celebrate than by talking with acclaimed poet Nikki Grimes? Her many books include narratives in verse, prose fiction, poetry collections, and nonfiction, frequently featuring African American characters and culture. In Grimes’s latest picture book, Poems in the Attic (illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon; Lee & Low, […]

Five questions for Neal Shusterman

Brendan and Neal Shusterman.

Neal Shusterman’s novel Challenger Deep (HarperTeen, 14 years and up) is a swirling, surrealistic look inside the mind of one teen, Caden, who is struggling with mental illness. Chapters narrated by Caden alternate between a bizarre shipboard setting and the world we know, all viewed through the teen’s sometimes impenetrable perspective. It’s a very personal […]