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Review of My First Day

My First Day by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page; illus. by Steve Jenkins Preschool, Primary    Houghton    32 pp. 1/13    978-0-547-73851-2    $16.99 “What did you do on your first day — the day you were born? Probably not much” begins this book about baby animals’ first hours of life. Jenkins and Page’s simple text effectively highlights […]

Review of The Archived

The Archived by Victoria Schwab Middle School, High School    Hyperion    324 pp. 1/13    978-1-4231-5731-1    $16.99    g Mackenzie is a “Keeper”; her job is to return the wakeful dead (or “Histories”) to the Archive, a repository of all human memory. Persuading the dead to return to their rightful resting place often involves kick-ass combat, but never […]

What Makes a Good Book About Dance?

How can books inspire and excite children about the riches of dance? How can these books connect with their interests both in  dance classes and outside of them? Dance books can put into words and images the language of the art form as well as the feelings and passion of dancers. It’s easy to find […]

Beyond The Friends

In 1973 Rosa Guy’s YA novel The Friends [read the original Horn Book review here] electrified the world 
of African American children’s books. The Friends was one of the 
first novels for teens to tell a distinctly African American story, 
highlighting issues of race, class, and identity that black children deal with on a daily […]

Jonathan Bean on Building Our House

In last week’s Notes from the Horn Book, Roger interviewed author/illustrator Jonathan Bean about DIY and his latest book, Building Our House. Reviewer Betty Carter has a sixth question for Jonathan in the January/February 2013 Horn Book Magazine. Read the starred review of Building Our House here. Betty Carter: What lessons or habits from your […]

Review of Building Our House

Building Our House by Jonathan Bean; illus. by the author Primary    Farrar    48 pp. 1/13    978-0-374-38023-6    $17.99    g Drawing on childhood memories from his own family’s house construction (see author’s note), Bean creates an engaging story as well as a glimpse into a warm family setting. A little girl narrates, and her childlike voice provides […]

Thomas Handforth, China, and the Real Mei Li

An online-only companion to Kathleen T. Horning’s “Mei Li and the Making of a Picture Book” article from the January/February 2013 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Editorial: Over and Above

Greetings, readers! Happy New Year to all! If this sounds like the opening of one of those annual roundup letters tucked inside holiday cards, it kind of is. We’ve got a lot to celebrate at the Horn Book — much of it reflected in this issue, and beyond. The Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards were presented […]

Code Name Verity: Author Elizabeth Wein’s 2012 Fiction Honor Speech

As this year’s Boston Globe–Horn Book Fiction winners show, we’re in the vanguard of a kind of golden age of historical fiction. We’re finally escaping the image that anything “historical” is remote and finished. Contemporary historical fiction brings the past into the present and makes it relevant. Ultimately, no matter how extensive our research, what […]

Mei Li and the Making of a Picture Book

This is the first of a continuing series of articles celebrating the history of the Caldecott Medal, which marks its seventy-fifth anniversary this year. Librarian and children’s literature historian Kathleen T. Horning will look at one seminal but unheralded Caldecott book of each decade — identifying trends and misconceptions, noting the changing nature of the […]