Review of The Book Itch

nelson_book itch

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s 
Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illus. by R. Gregory Christie Primary, Intermediate   Carolrhoda   32 pp. 11/15   978-0-7613-3943-4   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4677-4618-2   $17.99 If the central character of Nelson’s Boston Globe–Horn Book Award-winning No Crystal Stair (rev. 3/12) was the author’s great-uncle, Lewis Michaux, this picture book adaptation […]

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson on The Book Itch

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

In our November/December issue, our editors asked Vaunda Micheaux Nelson about revisiting the source material of her BGHB Award–winning No Crystal Stair in new picture book The Book Itch. Read the full review of The Book Itch here. Horn Book Editors: What compelled you to revisit the material from No Crystal Stair to create your […]

Review of Swan


Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder; 
illus. by Julie Morstad Primary, Intermediate   Chronicle   48 pp. 8/15   978-1-4521-1890-1   $17.99 In this exquisite introduction to ballet great Anna Pavlova (1881–1931), the impressionistic text begins the night young Anna goes out into the big city to see The Sleeping Beauty performed. Like the […]

Five questions for Duncan Tonatiuh

Duncan Tonatiuh by Patty Flagger

Duncan Tonatiuh’s distinctive, instantly recognizable style, heavily influenced by Mixtec codices, perfectly complements his choice of subject matter and his own Latino heritage. His new book Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras (Abrams, 6–9 years), which arrives just in time for El Día de los Muertos, is a picture book biography of […]

Review of Voice of Freedom

weatherford_voice of freedom

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of 
the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford; 
illus. by Ekua Holmes Intermediate   Candlewick   45 pp. 8/15   978-0-7636-6531-9   $17.99 Weatherford’s latest picture-book biography (Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, rev. 11/06; I, Matthew Henson, rev. 3/08; among many others) chronicles the life of civil […]

Are biographies a hard sell?

Out of the Woods

Can’t get kids to read biographies, you say? Have you tried reading aloud picture book biographies? It’s a sure way to hook kids into the lives, obstacles, and contributions of thousands of individuals, both historical and present day. But aren’t picture books only for young children? Never! Today’s picture book biographies are rich adventure stories […]

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 […]

Inspire interest in STEM with science biography picture books


With all of the push to get young children more interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics, many schools, libraries, and after school programs are integrating these topics into their activities. And, with so many great picture book biographies of scientists available, there is no reason that storytime activities and at-home reading time […]

Luna, Julia, and readers

kostecki-shaw_luna & me

We recently received Luna & Me: The True Story of a Girl Who Lived in a Tree to Save a Forest by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw (Holt/Ottaviano, May 2015). It’s sort of dual picture-book biography, telling the stories of a thousand-year-old redwood tree called Luna, which was slated to be logged; and of young activist Julia […]

Review of Gordon Parks

weatherford_gordon parks

Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured 
Black and White America by Carole Boston Weatherford; 
illus. by Jamey Christoph Primary   Whitman   32 pp. 3/15     978-0-8075-3017-7   $16.99   g Weatherford (Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood, rev. 5/14; Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane, rev. 5/08) presents the life of groundbreaking African American photographer […]