An unexpected encounter with The Gremlins

gremlins cover

On a recent trip to New Orleans I spent a day visiting the National World War II Museum. The museum itself was a treat for this history buff to explore, but as a children’s literature aficionado, I also got a pleasant surprise in the gift shop: on display was a book by Roald Dahl. I […]

Alanna redux

woman who rides 2011

As a Horn Book intern, I’m on the Out of the Box frontlines: I open the boxes and see what’s in them first. I recently came across the new paperback edition of Tamora Pierce’s The Woman Who Rides like a Man (left), the third book in the Song of the Lioness Quartet (Simon and Schuster, […]

Three threes and an overworked hen

We (and Fuse #8) have been complaining about the current dearth of new picture book editions of folktales. I mean, wouldn’t you love to see Mo Willems take on “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”? Bryan Collier do a “Hansel and Gretel”? An Erin Stead “Cinderella”? Hey, being a picture book casting agent is fun! But […]

Making Over Uglies

Digging through a box of books the other day, I came across what I thought was a new Scott Westerfeld book. “Yay!” said my brain—until I realized the title read Uglies. “Wait, what?” I thought. “This isn’t Uglies!” The “trilogy plus one” is receiving a full redesign (in hardcover, no less) by publisher Simon Pulse, […]

Smart books for all kids

Ellen Raskin was thinking outside the box before most of us even knew there was a box. A writer, an illustrator, a designer — she combined them all into a profession she called bookmaking. In her novels, the typeface is as much an element as the mystery/puzzle plot, which is as integral as the wordplay, […]

Celebrating Virginia Hamilton

I recently read and reviewed The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith, a book about the ways slavery and the Underground Railroad still haunt us (both metaphorically and literally). It had me wanting to reread The House of Dies Drear and wishing my copy were with me in Boston rather than in California at […]

Read Send me another story, please!

I just got a send-a-story of Susan Meyers’s and Marla Frazee’s Everywhere Babies from thoughtful Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publicity Director—and Horn Book alum—Karen Walsh. (How did she know I love Marla Frazee?) These genius greeting card/book hybrids allow you to mail an entire picture book to a loved one for less than five bucks and […]

YA from the Olden Days

Two novels from the late 1960s dawn of “the new realism” have resurfaced. Will they find new readers? The first thing that strikes me about John Donovan’s I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip (originally published by Harper in 1969) and June Jordan’s His Own Where (Crowell, 1971) is how short they seem—Donovan’s […]