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My date with Lisa Yee

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Lisa Yee and I for more than a decade had a friendship that was entirely virtual, but we met briefly for real last year at the Eric Carle gala. Now she’s moved to vaguely in our neck of the woods, and the other day we went to the MFA for lunch. We mostly talked about […]

Arrival spoilers

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The question is, how can I talk about Arrival without giving anything away? Well, go and come back, if you’ll allow me to allude to Joan Abelove’s 1998 novel (which I would love to see read through a lens of today’s conversations about social identity). And while you’re gone, re-read Shaun Tan’s The Arrival as […]

The morning after

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[In a burst of apparently unwarranted Dewey-beats-Truman optimism, my original draft for this afternoon’s Notes from the Horn Book editorial suggested that Hillary Clinton could do worse than read some E.B. White (Melissa Sweet’s Some Writer! is reviewed in the issue) to guide her presidency. Probably still not a bad idea even as things turned […]

Natalie Babbitt, 1932–2016

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Beloved author and illustrator Natalie Babbitt died this past Monday; she had been recently diagnosed with lung cancer. She gave the children’s book world immeasurable gifts — her books. In the New York Times obituary, her husband, Samuel Fisher Babbitt, described her as a remarkable woman “who left her mark in the literary world with her […]

Happy Birthday to Us

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Last Sunday marked the hundredth anniversary of the opening of Bertha Mahony’s Bookshop for Boys and Girls, whose “Suggestive Purchase List” begat The Horn Book Magazine and everything else we do today to blow the horn for fine books for youth. Lolly Robinson has given us the extraordinary gift of “The Horn Book’s Virtual History […]

On Robin Smith’s “A Letter to Parents” (from Sept/Oct 2006)

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When it comes to second-grade reading, veteran teacher Robin Smith has seen it all. As the parent of a second grader, I have seen many things that we won’t go into, but seeing my eight-year-old reading voraciously isn’t one of them. I know he can read; if given the choice, however, he prefers not to. […]

On Crescent Dragonwagon’s “Over and Over”

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Published on our website in 2012 as part of The Horn Book’s celebration of Picture Book Month, Over and Over is Crescent Dragonwagon’s achingly beautiful tribute to her mother, legendary children’s book editor and author, Charlotte Zolotow. When Crescent wrote this piece, Charlotte was ninety-seven and in failing health; her mother’s picture book Over and […]

On Angela Johnson’s “Family Is What You Have” (from March/April 1997)

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Award-winning author Angela Johnson (three Coretta Scott King awards, the Michael L. Printz Award in 2004, the 1991 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award—not to mention being a 2003 MacArthur Fellow), contributed “Family Is What You Have” to the Magazine‘s Family Reading issue in 1997. Her message of embracing difference is as powerful today as […]

On Cynthia Voigt’s “Have a Carrot” (from March/April 1997)

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“High on the list of favorite read-aloud books in the house where I was the Mommy is The Runaway Bunny.” Newbery Medalist (for Dicey’s Song) Cynthia Voigt reflects on the classic picture book by Margaret Wise Brown in her article, “Have a Carrot,” published in 1997 in the Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: “Family Reading.” […]

Stay home reading

Family Reading by Liza Woodruff

I love Perri Klass, here offering sensible advocacy of young children reading real books. Shut up, you know what I mean by real. Right after Labor Day, the Horn Book will debut its new blog, Family Reading, devoted to offering book recommendations and advice about the whats and whens and whos and hows of sharing books in […]