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From the Editor – January 2016

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Well, a few years ago the Caldecott Medal went to what many people thought was a novel (The Invention of Hugo Cabret), and this week we have the Newbery going to a thirty-two page picture book, the first time this has happened since A Visit to William Blake’s Inn in 1982 and only the second […]

Five questions for Barbara McClintock

Barbara McClintock

Each of author/illustrator Barbara McClintock’s picture books provides a glimpse into a jewel-box of a world, from bustling early-twentieth-century Paris (Adèle & Simon; Farrar, 4–7 years) to a cozy 1970s mouse-house (Where’s Mommy?, written by Beverly Donofrio; Schwartz & Wade, 4–7 years). Her latest, Emma and Julia Love Ballet (Scholastic, 4–7 years), does the same […]

The world around us

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Preschoolers’ curiosity makes them an ideal audience for books about animals and the natural world. These nonfiction picture books communicate information at a preschool-perfect pace — and with plenty of wonder. In Woodpecker Wham!, author April Pulley Sayre uses a rhyming, sound word–filled text to introduce the distinctively noisy woodpecker and the rhythmic cadences that […]

Get a move on

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Whether kicking a soccer ball, dancing ballet, tiptoeing through the…jungle, or belly-sliding on the ice, these feisty protagonists know how to keep things moving. Get on up! Brian Pinkney’s On the Ball begins on a soccer field, then takes flight as a young boy’s imagination soars. The opening text reads, “Owen loved playing ball,” and […]

Survival adventures

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These high-stakes survival tales feature bad-ass boys braving the elements, racing the clock, battling villains, and fending off wild creatures, all while learning a little something about themselves and nature. Thrill-seekers should be enthralled. Tristan Bancks’s On the Run begins with twelve-year-old Ben’s parents fleeing the police, leaving Ben and his younger sister, Olive, on […]

Identifying with history

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In poetry or prose, these works of historical fiction for middle graders delve into the search for identity during hard times, offering paths to self-fulfillment through connecting with family or the arts. In American Ace, a novel in verse, Marilyn Nelson tells the story of Connor Bianchini, who discovers that his biological grandfather was a […]

Books mentioned in the January 2016 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Barbara McClintock Adèle & Simon by Barbara McClintock, Farrar, 4–7 years. Where’s Mommy?, written by Beverly Donofrio, Schwartz & Wade, 4–7 years. Emma and Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock, Scholastic, 4–7 years. Get a move on On the Ball by Brian Pinkney, Disney-Hyperion, 3–6 years. Tiptoe Tapirs by Hanmin Kim, Holiday, […]