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Archives for 1997

Horn Book Fanfare 1997

Best books of 1997 Chosen annually by our editors, Fanfare is The Horn Book Magazine’s selection of the best children’s and young adult books of the year. Picture Books Baboon written by Kate Banks, illustrated by Georg Hallensleben (Foster/Farrar) A Small Miracle written and illustrated by Peter Collington (Knopf) Noah Makes a Boat written by […]

ONLY the Best: The Hits and Misses of Anne Carroll Moore

For the past eighty years, most of the twentieth century, the magisterial figure of Anne Carroll Moore, first Superintendent of Children’s Work at the New York Public Library (1906–1941), has loomed over American children’s books, a warts-and-all icon to insiders and a handy target for outsiders. It was Moore and her associates, indeed, who were […]

Buster on the Screen

My on-going if peripheral interest in children and electronic culture snapped into sharp focus one morning while listening to the news. One of our politicians blithely announced that school libraries and librarians were now unnecessary because children can find everything they need on the ‘Net. Confronted by this statement, I felt like Alice at the […]

Have Book Bag, Will Travel: A Practical Guide to Reading Aloud

By Mary M. Burns and Ann A. Flowers Suddenly, literacy is a hot topic. While definitions may vary, there is general agreement that it’s a good thing, and the more of it, the better. The problem seems to be discovering how to nurture it. Because Americans incline toward Puritanism when faced with self-improvement, the process […]

Disney Revisited, Or, Jiminy Cricket, It’s Musty Down Here!

I call him to account for his debasement of the traditional literature of childhood, in films and in the books he publishes: He shows scant respect for the integrity of the original creations of  authors, manipulating and vulgarizing everything for his own ends. His treatment of folklore is without regard for its anthropological, spiritual, or psychological truths. Every […]

Board Books Go Boom

Not long ago, while browsing through the picture book shelves of a local book store, I came across something that immediately caught my attention: Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species in a board book edition. One volume in the “Children’s Condensed Classics” series created especially for babies and toddlers, it opens with the line, “Long […]

Family Is What You Have

Last year, on a twenty-seater plane coming home from a speaking engagement, it became apparent that I was the only person on board not related to everyone else in the passenger section. My closest fellow passenger sat across the aisle singing a song about the purple dinosaur. She smiled at me—my cue to dig a […]

“Look”

by Lois Lowry My oldest child, a daughter, remembers that when she was three, and we lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, while her father was a law student, she often walked with me to a nearby grocery store. She tells me that there were letters painted in the street at the corner where we stopped and […]

“You can be president”

Sunday dinner in our family is a time for sharing food and ideas. One night, we discussed the upcoming presidential election. We ended by saying to each of our three sons, “You can be president.” Spontaneously, the oldest, Fred Jr., stood up, burst forth with a full chorus of “Hail to the Chief,” and declared […]

Snapshots: “Delicious rhythms”

Recently when our ten-year-old son was asked to name his favorite book, he said promptly, “I have thousands of favorites,” and proceeded to describe his room as if he were living in a small crack between bookshelves — the pleasant problem of the voracious reader. Madison’s bookshelves span a decade of evolving interests and travels […]