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Archives for June 2017

Caribbean American Heritage Month 2017

June is Caribbean American Heritage Month, which celebrates “the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States.” Summer Edward, founder and editor in chief of Caribbean children’s literature magazine Anansesem, was kind enough to direct us to her recommendations of recent or forthcoming kids’ and YA books by […]

2016 in Review: The Year in Pictures: Somehow Still Beautiful

His drawings are not neat or clean, nor does he color inside the lines. They are sloppy, ugly, and sometimes weird, but somehow still beautiful. —from Radiant Child by Javaka Steptoe At the end of each year, I take a step back to reflect upon the latest crop of picture books to see if any […]

Raising a feminist

I had a feminist awakening in my early twenties, and since then I’ve become passionate about analyzing female characters in books and films with a critical eye. I search for strong female leads whose identities are not defined by the men in their lives. Now, as a parent of a seven-year-old boy, I wonder about […]

Outside Over There and Gay Pride

Jonathan Cott’s new book There’s a Mystery There (Doubleday) is a terrific examination of what its subtitle calls “The Primal Vision of Maurice Sendak.” It accomplishes this by focusing on a single book, Sendak’s masterpiece, Outside Over There (1981), winner of a Caldecott Honor and a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award. And Cott’s objective is to […]

Review of There’s a Mystery There: The Primal Vision of Maurice Sendak

There’s a Mystery There: The Primal Vision of Maurice Sendak by Jonathan Cott Doubleday    242 pp. 5/17    978-0-385-54043-8    $30.00 e-book ed.  978-0-385-54044-5    $15.99 Cott first interviewed Maurice Sendak for Rolling Stone in 1976 and again for Cott’s book Pipers at the Gates of Dawn (1983), in which the two first discussed […]

Review of Long May She Wave: The True Story of Caroline Pickersgill and Her Star-Spangled Creation

Long May She Wave: The True Story of Caroline Pickersgill and Her Star-Spangled Creation by Kristen Fulton; illus. by Holly Berry Primary    McElderry    40 pp. 5/17    978-1-4814-6096-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6097-2    $10.99 Caroline Pickersgill grew up around industrious women: her widowed mother ran a successful flag-making business from their Baltimore […]

Roger’s ALA 2017

My ALA began on a sad note when, while Richard and I were on the way to the airport, Martha texted to tell me that Robin Smith had died. This is such a loss – I knew no one as good as Robin at connecting children and books. I saw it in her many years […]

2016 in Review: The Year in Words

For fans of children’s literature, social media has enabled a community of kindred spirits to collectively speculate about what might win the year’s biggest awards at the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards — which determine the cream of the crop, the most excellent books, the most distinguished contributions to literature. The excitement that starts […]

BGHB at 50: Clementine by Sara Pennypacker, illus. by Marla Frazee

Clementine, a 2007 Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book for Fiction and Poetry, is a 136-page master class in characterization. Sure, its protagonist is a spunky girl in the grand tradition of spunky girls. But just look at how much we learn about her — at how much is specific to her — beyond the usual […]

Review of Thick as Thieves

Thick as Thieves [Queen’s Thief] by Megan Whalen Turner Middle School, High School    Greenwillow    339 pp.    g 5/17    978-0-06-256824-3    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-06-256825-0    $18.89 e-book ed.  978-0-06-256827-4    $9.99 Turner’s eagerly awaited fifth Queen’s Thief novel (beginning with The Thief, rev. 11/96) displays in full her many fortes: ingenious […]