A Note from Me (Apr 9, 2021)

Dear friends: 

Let me confess here at the start that we made it through about forty-five minutes of The Greatest Story Ever Told before Lori and I decided (Richard having already fallen asleep) to switch over to Last Tango in Halifax, “you slapper” having become my favorite term of insult/endearment after just the first season. The Greatest Story it may be, but where I felt as one with Moses in the desert in The Ten Commandments, here the American West kept looking like the American West and I was waiting for John Wayne to show up on a horse. (I guess he does show up for one line later in the film, but who had time?) 

We are almost done crossing the ts, dotting the is, and accenting the es for the May/June special issue of the Magazine celebrating the Pura Belpré Award, which I’m told is not quite the longest issue we’ve ever published but it’s close. The foldout cover is glorious (we’ll show you next week) and the original paintings and comics that several of the Belpré honorees created for the interior are fantástico. I sometimes forget that we’ve been printing in color only for the last eleven years, and I am thrilled to see to what splendid use that capability’s been put for this issue. 

In the meantime, I trust you are all still making your way happily through our March/April issue; I’ve been re-reading Kimberly Willis Holt’s article about writing The Ambassador of Nowhere Texas, a sequel written twenty-some years later (and set some thirty years after) to When Zachary Beaver Came to Town. I was on the National Book Award jury (along with Hazel and Zena; talk about a Chicago cabal) that selected Zachary Beaver as the 1999 winner, but who saw a sequel coming? And I wonder what the longest gap between a book and its sequel might be. Who can tell me? Travis, this question seems made for you. 

See you next time, when I’m going to write about a book I rediscovered after more than fifty years away. Until then, go celebrate National Library Week



Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

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