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From the Editor – September 2015

I’m happy to be attending the tenth anniversary Carle Honors, which this year honor the contributions to picture books by artist Helen Oxenbury, editor Neal Porter, the Cotsen Library at Princeton, and intellectual freedom advocate Joan Bertin. These recipients are matched in worthiness by the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art itself, founded in […]

Five questions for Eric Carle

In The Nonsense Show, iconic picture-book creator Eric Carle reveals depths of previously unknown daffiness. A human baby sits in a kangaroo’s pouch, a lion is a people-tamer, a mouse catches a cat. Adults will appreciate the matter-of-fact surrealism; kids will simply find the whole thing a riotous hoot. 1. There’s a true three-year-old’s sense […]

Books mentioned in the September 2015 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Eric Carle The Nonsense Show by Eric Carle, Philomel, 2–5 years. Stuff and nonsense Playful Pigs from A to Z by Anita Lobel, Knopf, 3–6 years. Two Mice by Sergio Ruzzier, Clarion, 3–6 years. Finders Keepers by Keiko Kasza, Putnam, 2–5 years. Where’s Walrus? by Stephen Savage, Scholastic, 2–5 years. Where’s Walrus? […]

Tales with tails

Who wouldn’t want a giant, invisible, jelly bean–eating cat as a best friend? In the following imaginative middle-grade animal fantasy stories, creatures interact with humans in unusual ways, or they are the stars of their own shows. Fifth-grader Jackson, protagonist of Katherine Applegate’s Crenshaw, is the one scientifically minded member of his dreamy family, which […]

Forging a path

Four new picture-book biographies focus on trailblazers, from pioneering social and political activists to groundbreaking dancers and musicians, to inspire a new generation of children. Carole Boston Weatherford’s majestic new book, Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, chronicles the civil-rights icon’s life from her beginnings as the child of […]

Sur-reality

From kidnapped young women in bizarre landscapes to invisible helicopters; trippy, graffiti-like illustrations to tantalizing chapter openers that tell a whole other story, these novels use distinctive narrative structures to describe teens in…unusual…circumstances. Patrick Ness’s The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a fantasy novel — and simultaneously a fantasy-novel send-up — whose true […]

Stuff and nonsense

These new picture books put silly spins on their topics, with playful pigs, wily walruses, mischievous mice, hat-stealing creatures (not, this time, a fish) — and antic adventures for all.  In Anita Lobel’s Playful Pigs from A to Z, twenty-six pigs who are exploring the countryside find a field of “magical surprises”: brightly colored, freestanding […]