Ed Young on Nighttime Ninja

Ed Young

From the November/December 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Reviewer Ashley Waring asks Ed Young, illustrator of Nighttime Ninja, about the inspiration for his mixed-media artwork. Read the full review of Nighttime Ninja here. Ashley Waring: When preparing your collages, do you start with an idea for a scene and find the right materials […]

Review of Nighttime Ninja

nighttime ninja

Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta; 
illus. by Ed Young Preschool    Little, Brown    32 pp. 9/12    978-0-316-20384-5    $16.99 Silently, in the dark of night, a ninja creeps through a house. While the family sleeps, he stealthily embarks on his mission. “Hand over hand, the ninja climbed and clambered. Step by step, he balanced and leapt.” It’s […]

Review of Dodger

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Dodger by Terry Pratchett Middle School    Harper/HarperCollins    360 pp. 10/12    978-0-06-200949-4    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-06-200950-0    $18.89 e-book ed.  978-0-06-219015-4    $9.99 Who would have the skill, the sensibility, and the sass to put Charles Dickens into a novel and then proceed to write that novel in full-octane Dickensian style? Terry Pratchett, of course. Like his namesake […]

From the Guide: Artists and Masterpieces

Chuck Close Facebook

This September, contemporary portrait artist Chuck Close’s unconventional autobiography, Chuck Close: Face Book (rev. 5/12), was awarded the 2012 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for nonfiction. The following are Horn Book Guide–recommended books (including BGHB Nonfiction Honor Award–winner Georgia in Hawaii) for elementary-age readers — some biographical, others historical and artistic overviews, still others instigators for […]

Review of Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin

Electric Ben

Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by Robert Byrd; illus. by the author Intermediate    Dial    40 pp. 9/12    978-0-8037-3749-5    $17.99 With a jacket showing Benjamin Franklin as a cross between a mad scientist and a superhero standing amid wild lightning bolts and surrounded by all manner of electrical devices, this book […]

Review of The Skull in the Rock

Skull in the Rock

The Skull in the Rock: How a Scientist, a Boy, and Google Earth Opened a New Window on Human Origins by Lee R. Berger and Marc Aronson Intermediate     National Geographic     64 pp. 9/12     978-1-4263-1010-2     $18.95 Library ed. 978-1-4263-1053-9     $27.90 Paleontologist Berger, working in the fossil-rich hills near Johannesburg, South […]

Editorial: Please Repeat the Question

Roger_EdBriant_191x300

Neil Gaiman has his own, very good, reasons for asking, “What the [Very Bad Swearword] Is a Children’s Book Anyway?” and you can read all about them, starting on page 10. The question is great, but he doesn’t really have an answer. Don’t feel bad, Neil: here at the Horn Book, we’ve been asking that […]

Books in the Home: Reading Up

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Like many writers, I had a reading childhood, but I’ve only recently understood how countercultural my mother was about my reading. My brother and sister and I are close in age, so when I was a child there were no big-kid books and little-kid books; no girl books and boy books. All the books belonged […]

Review of Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad

Unspoken by Henry Cole

Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole; illus. by the author Primary    Scholastic    40 pp. 11/12    978-0-545-39997-5    $16.99 This wordless picture book opens with a calm scene: a quilt hangs over a rural split-rail fence. A young girl enters the scene on the next double-page spread, leading a cow and watching a […]

Rembering Margaret Mahy: March 21, 1936-July 23, 2012

Margaret Mahy

There was never anyone quite like her. Other amazing children’s writers have won the Hans Christian Andersen Award, but none had her extra‑ordinary range: verse; picture-book texts; books for every conceivable age group; scripts for radio, television, film; serials for newspapers and magazines. “I have been such a tradesman all my professional writing life,” she […]