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Archives for November 2012

Patron Request

We have a patron who is looking for a book she read as a child. She can’t remember the title. All she knows is, there were lots of strange characters who were large. They were shaped like flowers or clouds. They had mouths like apple sections, they smiled a lot and wore feathers, which implied […]

Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, & Brenna Yovanoff Talk with Roger Sutton

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by I met with the Merry Sisters of Fate at a New York coffee shop during a break from Book Expo America last June. While Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna […]

An Interview with Walter Lorraine

The multifaceted Walter Lorraine was a designer and art director at Houghton Mifflin before being named Director of Children’s Books, a position he held from 1965–1995. He now heads his own imprint, Walter Lorraine Books. Leonard S. Marcus: How did you get started in publishing? Walter Lorraine: As a student at the Rhode Island School […]

Review of The McElderry Book of Mother Goose

The McElderry Book 
of Mother Goose: Revered and Rare Rhymes compiled by Petra Mathers; 
illus. by the compiler Primary, Intermediate    McElderry    96 pp. 8/12    978-0-689-85605-1    $21.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5314-2    $12.99 Not since Leonard Marcus’s Mother Goose’s Little Misfortunes (rev. 11/90) has there been such a delightfully idiosyncratic selection. Drawn mostly from the canonical Opies (see […]

Face Out: Picture Book Covers

A recent conversation about the current state of the picture book soon came around to the subject of book jackets. A senior art director in the group noted mournfully that as jacket designs have increasingly become the province of sales and marketing teams, covers have grown less representative of the books they trumpet. The disconnect […]

Word salad, yum.

Jon Klassen’s This Is Not My Hat certainly encourages discussion– see Lolly’s review here, Robin’s review here and mine over here–but over at Amazon I discovered a rather breathtaking display of the strategic (psychotic?) deployment of the non sequitur as a tool. (By a tool? Discuss.): “This book is another in the long line of […]

Following in Their Fathers’ Paths

When you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him. — Ashanti proverb (from In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall) In the late 1960s, modern African-American literature for children was just coming into its own. For some of us, the 1967 publication of Virginia Hamilton’s Zeely was a turning point, […]

Making Picture Books: The Words

The beginning of a picture book comes before the pictures. In Margaret Wise Brown’s beautiful Goodnight Moon, it was the magic of her words, their simplicity and the music in them, that made Clement Hurd’s now-famous visual interpretation possible. Unless the writer is also an illustrator, the writing always comes first. Many fine writers can […]

Z Is for Moose

Here’s a long post coming on the heels of yesterday’s announcement that we would start to get shorter. I’m justifying the length because I suspect Z is for Moose is one of the top contenders this year, and — if my research is correct — it is one of the two most starred picture books […]

January/February stars

The following books will receive starred reviews in the January/February issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Building Our House; by Jonathan Bean (Farrar) Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building; by Christy Hale (Lee & Low) Ask the Passengers; by A. S. King (Little, Brown) Days of Blood & Starlight; by Laini Taylor (Little, Brown) One Came […]