From The Guide: Picture Book Builders

ashburn_fort that jack built

Judges and winners of the 2013 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards came together in early October for “The Horn Book at Simmons: Building Character,” a day-long event designed to give participants an opportunity to discuss how characters are constructed, and how they reach out from the page, building bridges to young readers in the process. In […]

The whole song and…book?

silvestri_sleep

I’m going to come straight out and admit it­ — I’m kind of a choir nerd. Or at least, I was in high school. So when I pulled Sleep (Acroterion, August 2013) by Charles Anthony Silvestri from a box this morning, a familiar chord sounded somewhere in the recesses of my mind (nope, not sorry […]

Review of Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

brown_mr tiger goes wild

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Little, Brown     48 pp. 9/13     978-0-316-20063-9     $18.00 Mr. Tiger walks upright and wears a top hat and a handsome coat with a bow tie, fitting in with the rest of society. But his orange fur provides the only spot of […]

Pondhopping: Spotlight on Flying Eye Press

pearson_hilda and the troll

The Horn Book’s publications don’t typically review books from the UK, but when several intriguing titles from a new imprint crossed my desk, I thought they deserved mention. Flying Eye Books, a children’s book imprint of UK publisher Nobrow Press, started up in February of 2013 with the goal “to bring you the most beautifully […]

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 […]