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Holiday High Notes 2019

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Grab a candy confection and read our selection of books filled with cheer — new or just reissued from yesteryear.* *with apologies to lyricist Edward Pola   My Baby Loves Christmas by Jabari Asim; illus. by Tara Nicole Whitaker Preschool    HarperFestival    20 pp. 9/19    978-0-06-288462-6    $7.99 In this cozy board book, Asim (Preaching to the Chickens, rev....

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...

Fanfare 2019 Annotations

Welcome to Fanfare, our choices of the best books of 2019. I believe we first published this list in 1939, recommending the best of 1938. Many of the titles are now mostly forgotten (or notorious: see The Five Chinese Brothers), but look: there is Andy and the Lion, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and The Hobbit....

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...

Preview September/October 2019 Horn Book Magazine

Cover art from Click, Clack, Boo!: A Tricky Treat by Doreen Cronin, illustration copyright 2013 by Betsy Lewin.  Kirkus children’s editor Vicky Smith considers book discussion guidelines for the twenty-first century.  “Black Kids Camp Too…Don’t They?”: Michelle H. Martin on why #WeNeedDiverseOutdoorBooks.  Kitty Flynn wishes a happy twenty-fifth anniversary to Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley’s It’s Perfectly Normal.  Cathryn M. Mercier, director...

Lift Every Voice: In the Presence of Royalty

My heart was racing like Secretariat, even though I had practiced my acceptance speech, as I nervously approached the podium. They had called my name to receive the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for my work on The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth. The CSK Breakfast...

Lift Every Voice: History Comes Alive

It was an adult book — The Chaneysville Incident by David Bradley — that inspired me to try my hand at writing historical fiction for children. I’ll never forget the author’s harrowing description of one of the characters fleeing a pack of slave hunters. I have always been a history...

2019 CSK–Virginia Hamilton Award Acceptance by Pauletta Brown Bracy

Good Coretta-Scott-King-Book-Awards-Breakfast-Sunday morning! I stand before you as the fifth recipient of the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement in the category of practitioner and in the company of the distinguished colleagues who have come before me: Dr. Henrietta Mays Smith, Demetria Tucker, Deborah D. Taylor, and Dr....

2019 CSK Illustrator Award Acceptance by Ekua Holmes

Ekua Holmes. Photo courtesy of Ekua Holmes.Congratulations to all of the 2019 awardees on the podium today. Along with you, I am deeply honored to receive this award, on its fiftieth anniversary, given in the name of Coretta Scott King — a woman whom I deeply admire for her work...
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