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On Megan Lambert’s “O Christmas Books!” (from November 2011)

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Last night my husband asked me, “Do you have an answer if we get the ‘Is Santa real?’ question?” I do, having addressed this last year with our eldest (come on, Dad, get with the program!). I’ve also fielded questions and comments from my kids about friends at school who celebrate different winter holidays and […]

On Roger Sutton’s “What Makes a Good Gift Book? Step Aside!” (from November 2006)

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With The Holidaze upon us once again, the pressure is on; as book people, our go-to gifts are books, but selecting the right book for the right child can still be daunting, even for those of us who work with children’s books. Ten years ago, the Horn Book’s own Roger Sutton weighed in on “What […]

Feeling thankful

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It’s almost Thanksgiving — one of my favorite holidays, and not just for the obvious, delicious reasons. I like noticing what’s good. I like the calendar-sanctioned excuse to be sappy. And even when life isn’t perfect, there are still things to be thankful for. Here are a few of mine: Horn Book staff, I’m thankful […]

We wish you a merry Bookmas!

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Last year I pulled together a few bookish gifts we were drooling over — here are some literary presents we’re giving (and maybe, hopefully getting) this holiday season. Shoshana I’m only actually giving this to one person, but I find myself recommending It’s Only Stanley to everyone who asks for a picture book recommendation. It […]

Review of Samurai Santa: A Very Ninja Christmas

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Samurai Santa: A Very Ninja Christmas by Rubin Pingk; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Simon   40 pp. 9/15   978-1-4814-3057-9   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-3058-6   $10.99 It’s hard to be a ninja when no one will join your snowball fight for fear of landing on Santa’s naughty list. There’s only one thing for Yukio to do: […]

Five reasons to get your holiday gifts from a bookstore

Holidays at Brookline Booksmith. Used by permission.

In our January/February 2016 issue, Abby McGanney Nolan tackles a topic dear to my former-bookselling (and aspiring children’s-book-creating) heart. Her article “Shelf Lives: From Bookseller to Bestseller” features interviews with a slew of children’s book creators who got their start working in bookstores. Plenty of current and former Horn Bookers have also spent time as […]

’Twas the eighth day of Hanukkah…

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’Twas the eighth day of Hanukkah. (Chanukah? Well, it’s easy to celebrate, harder to spell.) The table was covered in relics of wax, and presents long-opened were sitting in stacks. The gelt was just wrappers. The dreidels were spun. The Maccabees’ moment was quite nearly done. Then off near the shelves, there arose such a […]

Happy (C)Han(n)uk(k)a(h)!

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The Festival of Lights began last night, and I’ve got the latke lunch to prove it. Here are some recent Hanukkah-themed picture books to (let’s be honest) get smothered in applesauce. Reviews are from The Horn Book Magazine’s 2015 Holiday High Notes and from The Horn Book Guide Online. For more Horn Book Hanukkah recommendations, […]

Review of Oskar and the Eight Blessings

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Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Richard Simon and Tanya Simon; illus. by Mark Siegel Primary, Intermediate   Roaring Brook   40 pp. 9/15   978-1-59643-949-8   $17.99 In 1938, the last night of Hanukkah coincided with Christmas Eve, and for a young Jewish refugee in Manhattan, both holidays provided blessings. Following Kristallnacht, Oskar’s parents had put him on […]

Blowing the shofar, again, for fine books for boys and girls

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List updated 9/15. Or should I say 5776? To celebrate Rosh Hashanah, here are some recent picture books. Lesléa Newman’s beautiful Here Is the World, illustrated by Susan Gall, is a lyrical, kid-friendly survey of Jewish holidays throughout the seasons.The sweet and rollicking Rabbi Benjamin’s Buttons by Alice B. McGinty, illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt, […]