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Archives for September 2013

I Love Mountains app review

Cute kid Sloan Graham, the bear-suit-clad main character of Forest Giant’s nonfiction app I Love Mountains (2012), has a passionate interest in the titular landforms. She shares fun geological facts about mountains through nineteen interactive pages, beginning by describing the three different types of mountains and the plate tectonics that form them over time. She […]

Building Our House

Jonathan Bean’s Building Our House came out way back in January, so everyone probably knows by now that the book is based on a true story: the author’s parents (the ultimate DIYers) built the Bean family homestead from scratch while living in a trailer and raising three small children (!). Here are things I appreciate […]

Five questions for Jesse Klausmeier

Jesse Klausmeier received a 2013 Boston Globe–Horn Book Picture Book Honor for her debut Open This Little Book (Chronicle, 2013). Horn Book reviewer Julie Roach wrote of this metafictional tale, “Lively art and text come together with clever design to make this ode to books and reading a delight to open and pore over.” We […]

Review of The Lord of Opium

The Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer High School     Jackson/Atheneum     412 pp. 9/13     978-1-4424-8254-8     $17.99 g e-book ed. 978-1-4424-8256-2     $12.99 With the death of El Patrón at the end of The House of the Scorpion (rev. 11/02), Matt, the drug lord’s fourteen-year-old clone, has not only been reclassified as a human but has […]

Keep coming back

I’m just catching up with SLJ’s Heavy Metal and our own Calling Caldecott (and I see Betsy Bird has posted her own award predictions, too). All good prep for a terrible prognosticator (who once told the Wall Street Journal that kids were gonna hate Lemony Snicket). I’m particularly enjoying the civilized debate following Martha’s post […]

Children’s Books Boston kick-off event recap

Last Thursday’s Children’s Books Boston kick-off party at Simmons College was a fantastic success, with nearly 300 Boston-area publishers, authors and illustrators, reviewers, agents, librarians, booksellers, and children’s literature academics in attendance. After an introduction by each of the CBB partners — Candlewick Press, Charlesbridge, The Horn Book, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Simmons College Center […]

Donna Jo Napoli Talks with Roger

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 With more than fifty books published since 1991, I can’t think of a literary pool Donna Jo Napoli hasn’t at least dipped her toe into: picture books, biography, historical fiction, […]

Profiles of Cynthia Voigt

Cynthia Voigt’s mother and daughter profile the author to celebrate her 1983 Newbery Medal Award win for Dicey’s Song. by Elise K. Irving When Cynthia called that Monday night, she asked if I was sitting down before she told me that she had won the Newbery. And she was right. It is an overwhelming honor. […]

Five questions for Robert Byrd

Robert Byrd took home the 2013 Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Award for his picture book biography Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (Dial, 2012). As the author/illustrator of Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer (Dutton, 2003) and illustrator of Kathleen Krull’s Kubla Khan: The Emperor of Everything (Viking, 2010) and Steven Kroll’s Barbarians! (Dutton, […]

Water in the Park

Water, water everywhere. We learn early on (on the copyright page) that this is an homage to Tresselt and Duvoisin’s White Snow, Bright Snow and to Zolotow and Rey’s The Park Book. The fact that most of you have heard of the first while the latter has faded into the past points out something important: that […]