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Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

sam and dave dig hole

What will the Caldecott committee be talking about when it turns its scrutiny to Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen’s Sam & Dave Dig a Hole? Maybe the question should be, What WON’T the committee be talking about? Like Yuyi Morales’s Viva Frida, this is one discussable book. Though, perhaps, for different reasons. The art is certainly […]

This Is Not My Hat

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

Here’s one of the two picture books we’re reading for our second class. What do you make of this one? For those of you who know your lit, this is a classically unreliable narrator. How do the text and art play off each other? If you can, try reading it aloud, ideally to a child. […]

The Dark

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

Come on, people, hasn’t the man won enough? Wasn’t his acceptance speech so wonderful that he could never ever be improved upon? Haven’t I already reviewed just about every book Klassen has written? Do I really have to talk about this one? Okay, I will. Laszlo is afraid of the dark. (So afraid that he has […]

A Profile of Jon Klassen

Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. Photo: Lolly Robinson.

This happened a few years ago. Jon Klassen, then a newly minted author-illustrator standing before a gymnasium’s worth of school-
children, selected a shy third grader from the audience to collaborate with him on a piece of spontaneous art. She stood next to Jon as he tore a big sheet of paper from a pad. “We’re […]

Jon Klassen on misremembering: has this ever happened to you?


In his 2012 Boston Globe–Horn Book Picture Book Award speech, illustrator Jon Klassen talks about having a false memory of a scene from the movie There Will Be Blood. Meanwhile, Horn Book Magazine reader Martha Bennett Stiles had the same experience with the book Mountolive. Memory is a funny thing. Has that ever happened to […]

Extra Yarn: Illustrator Jon Klassen’s 2012 BGHB Picture Book Award Speech

Jon Klassen

Illustrators are notoriously good at giving speeches. When they decide to get into illustration, it is secretly because they know how good they are at public speaking, and they can’t wait until the day when they win an award so they can finally show a room full of literary people how great they are at […]

This Is Not My Hat

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

Robin just reviewed this book for the Magazine (here it is, complete with Jon Klassen’s take on his favorite chapeau), but I forgot it was already hers and rushed to claim it when we were divvying up titles. I couldn’t let her have both Extra Yarn AND this one. As you can see, we love […]

Jon Klassen on This Is Not My Hat


We ask This Is Not My Hat author/illustrator Jon Klassen about his own taste in haberdashery. Read the full starred review of This Is Not My Hat here. Horn Book editors: What is your favorite style of chapeau and why? Jon Klassen: A good old-fashioned baseball cap. I wear one all the time, and have […]

Review of This Is Not My Hat

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 10/12    978-0-7636-5599-0    $15.99    g The eyes have it in Klassen’s latest hat book (I Want My Hat Back, rev. 11/11). Klassen manages to tell almost the whole story through subtle eye movements and the tilt of seaweed and air […]

Extra Yarn

extra yarn

The stack of books stares at me. Where to start?  So, I did what I always do when struck with the paradox of too many choices: close my eyes and grab. So I will start this year’s discussion with a book I have admired for a long time. As a knitter, it was natural that I […]