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Love the Earth 2017

Earth Day and the March for Science are coming up on Saturday, April 22, 2017. The following picture books introduce children to some of the challenges facing our Earth, and provide suggestions to help on a scale they can manage. For more on this topic, see Kathleen T. Isaacs’s Horn Book Magazine article “Fostering Wonder.” […]

Review of Charlotte and the Rock

Charlotte and the Rock by Stephen W. Martin; illus. by Samantha Cotterill Preschool, Primary    Dial    32 pp. 3/17    978-1-101-99389-7    $16.99    g “Charlotte wanted a pet. She didn’t care what kind of pet.” However, she doesn’t expect the pet her parents enthusiastically surprise her with on her sixth birthday: a rock. […]

Some writer, artist, friend!

I hope you’ll join me for the 2017 Zena Sutherland Lecture, to be held on Friday, May 5 at 7:30PM at the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago. Our lecturer is the wonderful Melissa Sweet; her chosen topic is “To Inform and Delight: The Elements of Story.” Tickets are free but you gotta reserve your […]

Review of Town Is by the Sea

 Town Is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz; illus. by Sydney Smith Primary    Groundwood    56 pp. 4/17    978-1-55498-871-6    $19.95 “From my house, I can see the sea. It goes like this — house, road, grassy cliff, sea. And town spreads out, this way and that.” There’s a distilled, haiku-like quality to […]

Sydney Smith on Town Is by the Sea

In our March/April 2017 issue, our editors asked illustrator Sydney Smith about his illustrations for quiet new picture book Town Is by the Sea. Read the full starred review. Horn Book Editors: The illustrations help pace the story so beautifully. How did this book come together among text, art, and design? Sydney Smith: Joanne Schwartz’s […]

Out of Wonder

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets is an unusual book: a collection of original poems by three contemporary poets celebrating the work of twenty established poets, from Rumi to Gwendolyn Brooks to Naomi Shihab Nye. Just looking at the cover is enough to see that illustrator Ekua Holmes (winner of, among other awards, a 2015 Caldecott Honor for […]

Women in the visual arts

We’re commemorating Women’s History Month in typical Horn Book fashion — by highlighting great books! Last week we recommended books about groundbreaking women in STEM; here are some recent picture-book biographies (plus one memoir and one tribute anthology) of innovative female visual artists. Today brought some good news regarding women and art: it’s just been […]

Review of Spring for Sophie

Spring for Sophie by Yael Werber; illus. by Jen Hill Preschool, Primary    Wiseman/Simon    32 pp. 2/17    978-1-4814-5134-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5135-2    $10.99 In the middle of winter (a snowy, northern, rural winter), Sophie is ready for spring. She wonders when it will arrive and how she will know it is […]

Review of Short Stories for Little Monsters

Short Stories for Little Monsters by Marie-Louise Gay; illus. by the author Primary    Groundwood    48 pp. 3/17    978-1-55498-896-9    $19.95 Here’s a collection of super-short stories — one per double-page spread — in the growing tradition of such collections (recently, for instance, One Day, the End, rev. 9/15; Benjamin Bear in “Brain […]

Review of When We Were Alone

When We Were Alone by David Alexander Robertson; illus. by Julie Flett Primary    HighWater Press    32 pp. 12/16    978-1-55379-673-2    $18.95    g This quiet story is one of love and resistance during the decades-long era of oppressive residential schools for First Nations children in Canada. While spending the day with her […]