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Uneasy Reading: On Keeping Company with Very Sad Books

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Third grade was the worst year ever. No, really. My parents split up that year, and my dad moved out. I know that every divorce is different, and I’m told that not all of them are as painful as ours was. I’m glad for that. Ours was brutal. My dad...

Why Do Comics Matter? — The Zena Sutherland Lecture

Why do comics matter? At the risk of sounding completely self-absorbed, I’m going to answer this question by talking about me.  I am an Asian American cartoonist. I’m going to tell you how I became these two things: an Asian American and a cartoonist. Then I’m going to tell you...

Letter to the Editor from Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley, November 2019

September/October 2019 Horn Book     Thank you so much for publishing the wonderful article by Kitty Flynn celebrating this year’s twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health. We agree with Flynn that “the language around gender and sexual orientation…has evolved quite a...

Robert McCloskey at 100

Robert McCloskey was to the mid-twentieth-century American picture book what Norman Rockwell was to the illustrated magazine of that era: the artist most adept at divining the mythic dimension in the dramas of everyday life, and at crafting iconic images of a particular time and place with the power to...

Northward Bound: The Picture Book Art of Isol

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Photo: Stefan TellThe Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in children’s and young adult literature was presented this year to a writer/illustrator whose work is just becoming known in the United States, the Argentinian picture book artist Marisol Misenta, or Isol.The Lindgren prize, or ALMA, was established in 2002 to honor the...

For Eva

  Her father’s well-remembered voice came to save her. “When you’re sad, my Little Star, go out of doors. It’s always better underneath the open sky.”  — Eva Ibbotson, A Countess Below Stairs I am writing about Eva in my back garden. A bowlegged wasp is exploring the pages of my notebook, and...

Sight Reading: Something Old, Something New: Marla Frazee’s Picture Book Art

This year’s Caldecott committee sprinkled its fairy dust in three directions, bestowing its particular brand of good fortune on a trio of illustrators at distinctly diff erent stages of their careers. The big prize went of course to Jerry Pinkney, a draftsman and watercolorist par excellence who has long been...
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