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Judith Ortiz Cofer and Marilyn Sachs

We were sad to hear about the deaths, just before the New Year, of Judith Ortiz Cofer (1952-2016) and Marilyn Sachs (1927-2016), two of children’s literature’s Great Ladies. Cofer’s 1995 linked short story collection An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio was a touchstone work in children’s books: “A milestone in multicultural publishing for […]

Editorial: She’s With Us

Dr. Carla D. Hayden, Librarian of Congress Library of Congress 101 Independence Avenue, SE Washington DC 20540 Dear Carla: You know, the last time I wrote to a librarian in DC, she never got back to me. But then Laura Bush and I did not go to library school together, and I certainly never worked […]

My date with Lisa Yee

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

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

[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

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

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)

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”

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)

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 […]