Barbara Bader

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Five Gay Picture-Book Prodigies and the Difference They’ve Made

From the March/April 2015 cover by Tomie dePaola.   Andy Manley, a Scottish theater artist, travels the world putting on shows for children. In 2014, he was in New York doing My House, a “mostly wordless solo piece co-starring a cardboard box and a wayward melon,” according to the New...

A Second Look: The Planet of Junior Brown

Does one of the salient works of the black children’s lit breakthrough still hold its own? Is it still the knockout that I pronounced it, at Kirkus, in 1971?The Planet of Junior Brown was Virginia Hamilton’s fourth book — each of them different from the others, and from anything else...

Elisabeth Hamilton & Margaret McElderry: Two Approaches, One Passion

In 1919, when Louise Seaman Bechtel became the nation’s first children’s book editor, at Macmillan, her customers-in-waiting were chiefly children’s librarians. One specialty had bred another; now, one editor would follow another.Many of those new children’s book editors came from the ranks of children’s librarians. The story of two of...

Persons of Interest: The Untold Rewards of Picture Book Biographies

It didn’t exactly have to happen.In 1936, Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire, treasured for their radiant portrayals of child life in Ingri’s native Norway, took up George Washington, and with the wide eyes of new Americans and the same sensitivity to their child audience, struck a chord.  Other d’Aulaire picture...

Picture Books, Art and Illustration

From Newbery and Caldecott Medal Books, 1966-1975edited by Lee Kingman, published by The Horn Book, 1975Ten years, ten books. Ten books that, one by one, have been put forth as the best of the year’s picture books, by inference the best that America could produce.This is the burden of the...

Realms of Gold and Granite

Bertha Mahony Miller in 1929.The Bookshop for Boys and Girls was born, in a twelvemonth, with a pedigree and a distinguished list of patrons. Its role was largely determined from the outset.But life, real life, is also a string of accidents. Bertha Mahony was thirty-three and restless after ten years...

Z Is for Elastic: The Amazing Stretch of Paul Zelinsky

What would Margaret Wise Brown have been without Clement Hurd? There’d have been no Goodnight Moon.What would Ruth Krauss have been without Maurice Sendak or Crockett Johnson or Marc Simont? There’d have been no Hole Is to Dig or Carrot Seed or Happy Day.Some of the most original, imaginative picture...

Review of One Times Square

One Times Square: A Century of Change at the 
Crossroads of the Worldby Joe McKendry; illus. by the authorIntermediate    Godine    64 pp.9/12    978-1-56792-364-3    $19.95You are there at the birth, the decay, and the revival of Times Square, the “crossroads of the world” for a century. McKendry (Beneath the Streets of...

American Picture Books from Max’s Metaphorical Monsters to Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse

In the course of the last thirty years or so, American picture books have become a mainstay of American life — and items of merchandise — without altogether extinguishing the individual creative voice. They have also ceased to be, in any defining way, American.Until very recently, children in Western societies...

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