Subscribe to The Horn Book

Beatrix and Bertha

Beatrix Potter’s resistance to critics and fans writing about her books is well documented. In 1939 Margaret Lane, who would later become Potter’s first biographer, received a classic brush-off: So I wrote to Beatrix Potter, as politely and respectfully as I knew how, telling her of my lifelong pleasure in her work, and my admiration, […]

One Childhood, One World

On an evening in November 1930, during Children’s Book Week, Bertha Mahony arranged a festive Mexican Dinner in honor of the authors and illustrators of the season’s bumper crop of books on a Mexican theme. The most imposing, surely, was René d’Harnoncourt, illustrator of The Painted Pig, who was not only a splendid six-foot-six but […]

Horn Book Reminiscence from Elizabeth Orton Jones

by Elizabeth Orton Jones Tchrr-r-r-r! The phone would ring. I’d answer, and after a considerable while I’d hear a faint little quavery voice, as if someone were calling me from beyond the Pleiades…“E-li-i-izabeth?” It would be my dear friend Bertha Mahony Miller, calling from Ashburnham, Massachusetts, about seventeen miles from Mason, New Hampshire, where I […]

Horn Book Reminiscence from Lee Kingman

By Lee Kingman My earliest memory of Bertha Mahony, before she added Miller to her name, begins with her feet. Small feet, proportioned to her small frame. As I was a lanky nine-year-old, I was almost as tall as she was. Her lack of size, however, had nothing to do with her authority, which was […]

Realms of Gold and Granite

The Bookshop for Boys and Girls was born, in a twelvemonth, with a pedigree and a distinguished list of patrons. Its role was largely determined from the outset. But life, real life, is also a string of accidents. Bertha Mahony was thirty-three and restless after ten years as a good right-hand at Boston’s Women’s Educational […]

Horn Book Reminiscence from Isabel Wilner

From Isabel Wilner My acquaintance with the Horn Book began when I entered Carnegie Library School in Pittsburgh in September 1944. Our classrooms were located in the library itself, and it was there that I discovered bound volumes of the Horn Book, which I enjoyed reading for my personal pleasure whenever time permitted. Elizabeth Nesbitt […]

Horn Book Reminiscences From Jill Paton Walsh and John Rowe Townsend

From Jill Paton Walsh and John Rowe Townsend Paul Heins was a Bostonian born and bred: a perfect Bostonian gentleman. (He was not a Boston Brahmin, but then, you do not have to be a Brahmin to be a gentleman.) Ethel was a New Englander by adoption. Together they seemed to our British eyes to […]

Horn Book reminiscence from Jane Manthorne

From Jane Manthorne My association with The Horn Book Magazine and children’s books goes back more than fifty years. Recollections abound of encounters with the unexpected, the ridiculous, the bizarre, and — most often — thoughtful meetings with staff, authors, and books. My predilection in life and libraries and literature has always been for the […]

Horn Book Reminiscence from Elizabeth Orton Jones

By Elizabeth Orton Jones Tchrr-r-r-r! The phone would ring. I’d answer, and after a considerable while I’d hear a faint little quavery voice, as if someone were calling me from beyond the Pleiades . . . “E-li-i-izabeth?” It would be my dear friend Bertha Mahony Miller, calling from Ashburnham, Massachusetts, about seventeen miles from Mason, New Hampshire, where I […]

Horn Book Reminiscence from Lillian N. Gerhardt

From Lillian N. Gerhardt The Horn Book was just ending the celebration of its first forty years of publication when I went to work for the advance review agency Kirkus Review Service. Its founder, Virginia Kirkus, was seventy years old and still an active presence on the staff. Unlike most who reach that age, Kirkus was disinclined […]