Review of Giving Thanks

giving thanks

Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving edited by Katherine Paterson; illus. by Pamela Dalton All Ages     Handprint/Chronicle     56 pp. 10/13     978-1-4521-1339-5     $18.99 Paterson divides this collection of brief prayers, poems, and meditations into thanks for food, life, spirit, and community. Her selection is catholic and spans the centuries, from the […]

R.I.P. Charlotte Zolotow

illustration by Maurice Sendak, from Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present.

Former publisher of children’s books at HarperCollins and immortal author of picture books Charlotte Zolotow has died at the age of 98. As an editor and publisher she was quite a force, bringing us such revelations as The Pigman and Weetzie Bat; as an author, she is without peer in her particular realm: the quiet […]

Writing for the Very Young: An Emotional Déjà Vu

charlotte zolotow

by Charlotte Zolotow The more I try to analyze children’s books — or the fusion of feelings and events that goes into writing for children — the more I realize what a mystery children’s thoughts are and what a mystery the whole process of writing for children is. Part of it is the imagery and […]

Daniel Beaty on Knock Knock

Photo: Nathan Yungerberg

In the November/December 2013 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer Robin Smith asked author Daniel Beaty about making his own childhood experience relatable to many readers in his picture book Knock Knock. Read the review here. Robin L. Smith: Your own story is so specific — your dad was in jail — but we never find out […]

Review of Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me

knock knock

Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty; illus. by Bryan Collier Preschool, Primary     Little, Brown     40 pp. 12/13     978-0-316-20917-5     $18.00 Each morning, a little boy looks forward to playing the knock-knock game with his father. The boy pretends to be asleep until his dad approaches. “Then I get up and jump into […]

Review of Little Santa

little santa

Little Santa by Jon Agee; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Dial     40 pp. 10/13     978-0-8037-3906-2     $17.99     g It’s easy to distinguish Santa from his parents and six siblings (Larry, Mary, Willy, Millie, Joey, Zoe). They’re all much older, and depressed as only Agee grownups can be; Santa’s the happy little one in the brick-red […]

Chris Raschka on When Lions Roar

Chris Raschka

In the September/October 2013 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer K. T. Horning asked Chris Raschka about illustrating scary emotional situations in When Lions Roar. Read the review here. K. T. Horning: For many young children, a roaring parent is even scarier than a roaring lion. How did you approach the challenge of depicting “When daddies yell!” […]

Review of When Lions Roar

when lions roar

When Lions Roar by Robie H. Harris; illus. by Chris Raschka Preschool     Orchard/Scholastic     32 pp. 10/13     978-0-545-11283-3     $16.99     g A young child (of indeterminate gender) is frightened by loud noises on a trip to the zoo — from screeching monkeys and booming thunder to yelling parents and blaring sirens, each one simply described using the […]

Animal sounds

what does the fox say

It seems like lately everyone’s been asking “What does the fox say?” but children’s books have been asking this question (and others like it) since long before it was cool. Not only are animal noises fun and engaging for children to read aloud or say along, but the variety of these noises shows kids that […]

Review of Journey

journey

Journey by Aaron Becker; illus. by the author Primary     Candlewick     40 pp. 8/13     978-0-7636-6053-6     $15.99 In the tradition of Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon (rev. 10/55), this wordless story shows a bored young girl  living in a monochromatic world who is able to draw herself into other worlds with […]