Table of Contents Features Mo Willems 11 Why Books? An adaptation of the author’s 2011 Zena Sutherland Lecture. Jack Gantos 18 Mausoleum Madness Or, children’s books six feet under. Barbara Bader 41 Nonfiction: What’s Really New and Different—and What Isn’t A response to The Horn Book’s special issue on nonfiction. Ron Koertge 48 [...]
In the age of preschool princesses and teenage werewolves, nonfiction, conspicuously, has class. That came across buoyantly in the March/April 2011 issue of the Horn Book, where prominent persons in the field wrote about their work and what today’s nonfiction aspires to.
Their aims are admirable, their commitment is impressive, their enthusiasm is infectious; as a cadre, they have a lot to be proud of. But not because their work, however fine, surpasses the work of their predecessors. It isn’t better researched or better illustrated, as some of the contributors suggest, and it certainly isn’t more venturesome. In kids’ nonfiction, “going where no adult book has gone before” is nothing new.
Mother Goose waddled to the window. Ah, there was the moon, perfect and round, its light streaming into bedrooms everywhere. She sighed. Mother Goose was upset. How could parents say that…word, that awful word, to their children? How could they use it in front of innocent little darlings almost fast asleep? Their drowsy eyes. Well-washed [...]
At Macy’s department store, marionette maker Tony Sarg started inside and worked his way out. He designed mechanical storybook figures for Macy’s window displays before inventing the giant balloon characters that would become the signature feature of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Sweet’s whimsical mixed-media collages, embellished with little dolls she made herself out of odds and ends, reinforce the theme that, for Sarg, work was play. He loved his job just as much as the cheering crowds loved his balloons (one of Sweet’s watercolor illustrations shows open-mouthed children fairly dancing with delight).
The following books will receive starred reviews in the November/December issue of The Horn Book Magazine: The Money We’ll Save; by Brock Cole (Ferguson/Farrar) Subway Story; by Julia Sarcone-Roach (Knopf) Benjamin Bear in “Fuzzy Thinking”; by Philippe Coudray; trans. from the French by Leigh Stein; illus. by the author (Toon/Candlewick) No Ordinary Day; by [...]