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Archives for August 2013

Show and Tell: Curating “The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter”

Not quite two years ago, The New York Public Library asked me to curate an exhibition about children’s books for its central  gallery, the grand 4,500-square-foot space that lies just beyond the Library Lions (the main Fifth Avenue entrance-way) and Astor Hall. I would have a research assistant, a work area, my choice of designers, […]

Ansel + Clair: Cretaceous Dinosaurs app review

In a series of apps by Cognitive Kid, child stand-ins Ansel (an alien) and Clair (a flying robot) travel through time to document Earth’s history for their planet Virtoos. In Ansel and Clair: Cretaceous Dinosaurs (Cognitive Kid, 2012), the first in a dinosaur-themed trilogy, the duo visits a present-day paleontological dig, then heads to the […]

Evaluating nonfiction: At War with the Empire

To better understand the criteria for judging children’s books, I started reading frequent Horn Book Magazine contributor Kathleen T. Horning‘s From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books. In the second chapter, Horning considers “books of information.” Around the same time, author Gerry Hunt and illustrator Matthew Griffin’s graphic novel At War With the […]

Sign in Print

It’s 1995, and we’re standing on the sidewalk having a conversation. One of us is a six-year-old, and the other is her mother. We’re speaking in a language that’s not English, but this is Princeton, New Jersey, after all: French, Italian, Serbian, Arabic, Hebrew,  Mandarin, Hindustani…The Institute for Advanced Study and Princeton University draw all […]

Review of Romeo Blue

Romeo Blue by Phoebe Stone Intermediate     Levine/Scholastic     350 pp. 6/13     978-0-545-44360-9     $16.99 e-book ed. 978-0-545-52070-6     $16.99 Romeo Blue is the best sort of sequel: one you didn’t know you wanted but are ever so grateful to have. Its predecessor, The Romeo and Juliet Code (rev. 3/11), ended with British ex-pat Flissy content in sleepy Bottlebay, […]

Beat the heat with a wintry read

There’s something to be said for reading seasonal books as the year goes on, but it’s also fun to mix and match with abandon. Take, for instance, John Smelcer’s novel Lone Wolves (Leapfrog Press, September 2013), which proved an entertaining escape from the summer heat to a frozen Alaskan winter. Sixteen-year-old Deneena “Denny” Yazzie feels […]

Build your character with the Horn Book!

Registration is now open for the 2013 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards and Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium, October 4th and 5th at Simmons College. Cathie Mercier, Katrina Hedeen, and I are still shaping up this year’s HBAS program, titled “Building Character.” Don’t worry, it won’t be nearly as stuffy as it sounds. Our confirmed HBAS […]

“Myth, Magic, and Making Stuff Up” with Mr. Gaiman

On Saturday, August 3rd, fellow Horn Booker Shara and I had the pleasure of attending Neil Gaiman’s lecture “Myth, Magic, and Making Stuff Up” at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Being a devoted Gaimanphile, I managed to snatch up tickets in the brief hours before they sold out — in April! Neil’s work — from […]

An Interview with Robert Cormier

by Anita Silvey Beyond the Chocolate War by Robert Cormier is being published by Knopf on April 21, 1985. This interview, conducted at Robert Cormier’s home in Leominster, Massachusetts, took place on December 20, 1984, and focuses on the new book, his methods of writing, and the influences on his work. AS: Why did you […]

The Best of Youth

I just finished reading The Best of Youth by Michael Dahlie (W.W. Norton & Co., 2013). In it, aspiring twenty-something author Henry agrees to ghostwrite a YA novel for a respected Hollywood actor named Jonathan Kipling (I had Liam Neeson in mind, though that ends up doing a major disservice to Mr. Neeson). Henry has […]