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Let's Laugh at Nazis

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We saw Jojo Rabbit this weekend and I think you all should see it too. It’s an anti-BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS, still a fable but blackly hilarious and not relying on a viewpoint only masquerading as childlike.   Along with transitive verbs used intransitively, my biggest bête noire in...

Fanfare 2019 Booklist

Below is Fanfare, a list of the books that the Horn Book editors and reviewers have selected as the best of 2019. The annotated list will be published in the December issue of Notes from the Horn Book (sign up!) and in the January/February 2020 issue of the Horn Book Magazine...

We never learn

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Dear Sarah Dessen: I must confess that when I first read about the student who joined her school's one-college-one-book committee expressly to prevent a Sarah Dessen novel from being chosen, I laughed. Not at you or your books (or your genre or gender) but because I know that kind of student. I...

Reviewing the book that's in front of your face

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One of the cardinal sins of book reviewing is evaluating a book for what it is not. Perhaps it is not the book the reviewer would like to be reading, or is not about a subject the reviewer finds of value or interest, or does not take an approach to...

Chucky the Child's Friend

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I recently fielded a letter of complaint from someone bothered by our recommendation, in Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book, of several books in Abdo’s Hollywood Monsters series, among them Chucky and Freddy Krueger. (I haven’t seen any of their movies; have I missed anything?) The letter-writer was bothered that we would recommend books...

Roger Sutton's 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards Opening Remarks

The 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards ceremony took place on Friday, October 4, at Simmons University. The opening remarks, below, were delivered by Horn Book Editor in Chief Roger Sutton. For more about the history of the Boston Globe-Horn Book awards, and about this year's winners and honorees, visit the...

Starred reviews, November-December 2019 Horn Book Magazine

Spread from Firefighters' Handbook The following books will receive starred reviews in the November-December issue of The Horn Book Magazine: The Shortest Day; by Susan Cooper; illustrated by Carson Ellis (Candlewick) River; written and illustrated by Elisha Cooper (Orchard/Scholastic) Birdsong; written and illustrated by Julie Flett (Greystone) Red House, Tree House, Little Bitty...

BGHB this Friday night

Everyone here is busy with last-minute details for the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards ceremony this Friday night. My 24th, eep. While I expect it to be a happy event, we are all going to miss the presence of Monica Edinger, chair of this year's award commitee, who is in rehab...

Owl Moon takes flight again

Editor Patti Gauch has asked me to tell you all about an upcoming event. On October 16th, Patti, along with Heidi Stemple, Judy Schoenherr, and Nanette Stevenson will discuss with Jane Yolen her durable 1987 picture book Owl Moon. Patti was the editor, Heidi the inspiration, Judy the widow of the...

Harry, AGAIN?

It's funny to see the Catholics going after Harry Potter as he presented no particular challenge to the Church (I've also been rereading His Dark Materials, and there's something for the R.C.s to sink their teeth into). And, most oddly, why now? Sounds like the good Father got himself buttonholed by...

R.I.P. Lee Bennett Hopkins

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I was sorry to hear about the death this morning of Lee Bennett Hopkins. With his own work, his anthologies, and his nurturing of new poets, is there anyone who has done more for American children's poetry than Lee? A fuller appreciation of Lee's achievements will follow, but today I...

Starred reviews, Horn Book Magazine, September-October 2019

Art from FIELD TRIP TO THE MOON   The following books will receive starred reviews in the September/October issue of The Horn Book Magazine. Field Trip to the Moon; written and illustrated by John Hare (Ferguson/Holiday). A Big Bed for Little Snow; written and illustrated by Grace Lin (Little, Brown). Double Bass Blues; by...

Make Way for Simmons!

We welcome Simmons University's biannual Children's Literature Institute to campus today. This year's theme being "Make Way," the Institute begins tonight with Grace Lin and Alvina Ling in dialogue with and at Make Way for Dumplings: Twenty Years of the Art of Grace Lin exhibiting in the Trustman Gallery, fourth floor of the Main College...

What are YOU reading this summer?

What do you all do when you've finished one book and can't seem to settle on another? I finished Denise Mina's Conviction (started better than it got later, alas) and began Powers's The Overstory (it's too hot for that) and Philip Kerr's first Bernie Gunther book (inept metaphors) without either...

This is a test.

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Hello, all, this is my maiden post for our new website, and I hope I soon have something more interesting to say than "this is a test." But, this is a test. Isn't it fascinating?...

My ALA 2019

My ALA began on Friday afternoon with a lunch hosted by Holiday House for their O'Dell Award winner Lesa Cline-Ransome, for Finding Langston. She's a Malden girl! So we two townies had a blast with back-in-the-day. Lesa's husband James and I discussed sartorial choices for that evening's Event, the CSK...

ALA in D.C.

I'll be reporting tomorrow about My ALA but in the meantime wanted to make sure you knew we have posted the acceptance speeches and profiles of the Caldecott, Newbery, and Legacy winners, which together appear in print in the Horn Book Magazine issue being held by Carol Merrill seated to...

Think lovely thoughts

I'm off tomorrow for ALA in D.C. and am wondering if 20,000 librarians could accomplish what 1200 hippies could not. Otherwise you will find me mainly in the exhibit hall with Al while Martha and Elissa stalk the sessions. Our booth number is 725, and we will be giving away...

Aristotle and Dante Discover an Alternate Universe

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I'm quite taken with Michelle Ann Abate's essay about Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secret of the Universe in the hot-off-the-pixels new issue of Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, whose theme this time around is "Queer Futurities." Much to my shame, Abate points out something about that novel that...

My friend Susan

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Flowers by Susan BloomWe said goodbye yesterday to a friend of mine and of the Horn Book, Susan P. Bloom. I met Susan thirty years ago, when she and Cathie Mercier invited me to teach Simmons's Summer Children's Literature Institute. That year's theme, "Masquerade" was aptly borne out when Susan...

A new Horn Book Guide

Welcome to the new Horn Book Guide! Current subscribers to the Guide, whether print, digital, or database, should this morning be receiving instructions for logging in; for those who are not (yet? Please, God) go over and poke around. The two new features I like best are the ability of...

Feeling mighty lonesome, haven't slept a wink

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On my desk this morning.Spurred by Globe columnist Devra First's thoughts, Boston is a-bubble with discussion about whether it is ethically okay to buy Peet's coffee, given the company's Nazi history. The column specifically references, as the columnist's favorite, Major Dickason's Blend, which to my ears has always sounded ineffably...

BGHB Awards 2019

Photo by darling RichardWe have our winners! Read all about them! I'd like to thank our sisters at SLJ and Media Source for graciously sharing the podium at their Day of Dialog in New York. Next year we should do it at the end of the day so we can...

Horn Book Magazine starred reviews, July/August 2019

illustration from Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai. The following books will receive starred reviews in the July/August 2019 Horn Book Magazine. Each year our July/August issue celebrates the ALA Youth Media Awards; this time around you can look forward to original cover art by (second-time!) Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall,...

Join me for BGHB @ DoD

Tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. sharp (Eastern Daylight Time), you can join me live at Little Sister's Day of Dialog in NYC or virtually live on The Horn Book's Facebook page to hear the winners of the 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards. Visit hbook.com/bghb19 after the announcement to see the...

Horn Book Summer Reading

We've pulled together our annual recommendations for summer reading. As ever, we present books we hope will spur purely recreational reading, which to my mind is the kind of reading most worth doing. I hope you find something your charges will like.     For myself, I'm deciding between a Graham Greene tear...

Two anniversaries

I hope our subscribers and other print readers are enjoying our special issue in honor of the Coretta Scott King Awards. We will be posting selections from the issue throughout this month and next, and while I am not going to harangue you again to buy an issue, it's really...

They're here!

photo by Katie BircherAdvance office copies of our May/June special issue, that is, which means that if you are a subscriber it is also on the way to you. If you are not a subscriber, first, shame on you, but, second, you can order single copies of this issue of...

Peeps and People

  Debbie ReeseDebbie Reese's Arbuthnot Lecture is up if you want to give a look and listen; I haven't listened yet but will; the lecture will also be published in a forthcoming issue of ALSC's Children and Libraries.         Peep Family MoomintrollThen, for fun, see Kitty Flynn's Peep-driven crisis of parenthood....

Order your copy NOW.

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We are just dotting the is of the May/June issue celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Awards. Phew! I don't think we've published an issue with quite so many moving parts. I speak literally, figuratively, and emotively.I hope our subscribers appreciate this landmark issue, and I wanted...

2019 Zena Sutherland Lecture

The 2019 Zena Sutherland Lecturer is writer and cartoonist Gene Luen Yang, and his topic is "Why Comic Books Matter." The Lecture will be given at 7:30PM on Friday, May 3rd at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St. in Chicago. Admission is free but tickets are required...

Horn Book Magazine Starred reviews, May/June 2019

Illustration from The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol.The following books will receive starred reviews in the May/June 2019 Horn Book Magazine. Do NOT miss this issue: it is our annual special issue, this time around devoted to the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Awards. With history, interviews, and...

May the Lord protect and defend you

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Tonight I am attending Shabbat with Richard at his temple, and the service will be followed by Lesléa Newman talking about her new book Gittel's Journey: An Ellis Island Story. I love it when one's worlds collide, don't you?...

For Paul Janeczko

Naomi Shihab Nye, helped out by Lynne Rae Perkins, remembers the recently departed Paul B. Janeczko. He will be missed.  For Paul Janeczko, who Changed the WorldWe were set up to do a reading together in Portland, Maine once — HIS TOWN —and the only attendee was a dog.As we waited...

But what IS reality, really?

View from the TopPlease join Children's Books Boston for "Fact and Fiction: How and Why Authors Draw Upon Reality to Build Fiction," a panel discussion at Simmons University on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. The panelists include novelists Liza Ketchum, Malinda Lo, and Tara Sullivan; the moderator is our own Elissa Gershowitz....

R.I.P. Tomi Ungerer and a Letter from Leda

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We were sorry to hear about the death of Tomi Ungerer, whose is the name I hear mentioned most frequently when illustrators talk about their heroes. The New York Times has a sympathetic and informative obit of the artist but takes one cheap shot up with which Leda Schubert, dear friend...

BGHB, NBA, BELPRÉ, PRINTZ...

... and tonight Elizabeth Acevedo is speaking at Simmons University,  free at 5:30 in the Paresky Center.  Go! She is a prodigious talent and, as I learned last night, a formidable dinner companion, keeping me on my toes all evening. (Thank you to Cathie Mercier for including me.) You can...

I Never Do Anything Twice

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For an op-ed related to the drama surrounding Blood Heir, the New York Times asked two previous Twitter storm centers, Keira Drake (for The Continent) and Jonah Winter (The Secret Project) for Lessons Learned and their takes on the current debate. I have no take beyond warning people of the...

Horn Book Magazine Starred Reviews, March/April 2019

  illustration by Iris Deppe from Dogs in Space The following books will receive starred reviews in the March/April 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Olive & Pekoe: In Four Short Walks; by Jacky Davis; illustrated by Giselle Potter (Greenwillow).Home Is a Window; by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard; illus. by Chris...

In Seattle

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I'm back from ALA and, if the exhibits were any indication, can tell you one thing that is On Trend: rainbow-themed board books. Not science-rainbow or leprechaun-rainbow but FLAG-rainbow. I counted four. When I questioned the Pride flag's relevance to a board-book-aged audience, Macmillan's Angus Killick gave me What For,...

2019 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction

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From the BCCB's Deborah Stevenson, chair of the O'Dell Award committee:  Champaign, IL (January 18, 2019)—The 2019 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction goes to Finding Langston, by Lesa Cline-Ransome, published by Holiday House. Chicago brings culture shock for eleven-year-old Langston, who moves there from Alabama with his father in 1946 after his mother...

Boy, you turn me

Talking about his new book A Ray of Light for this week's Talks With Roger, author-photographer (and BGHB winner) Walter Wick reminded me of something that I knew but had gratefully managed to forget: we see everything upside-down, and our brains correct the difference. When I think about that I...

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, everybody. I hope you got some good reading done over the holidays. Me, I shuttled among Tim Mohr's Burning Down the Haus (a history of punk rock in East Germany), Ruth Ware's The Death of Mrs. Westaway, and Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, those latter choices, each about...

Counting on You

Jason Low has announced that the Diversity Baseline survey is back. Publishers, book reviewers, agents (now with agents!) please join in. If the numbers are better than they were five years ago (and I suspect they are), the first iteration of this survey should be credited with some of that...

Two great ladies

This Thursday at 3:00PM, I'll be interviewing Ilene Cooper about her latest book, Eleanor Roosevelt: Fighter for Justice. Sponsored by the Junior Library Guild (for which Eleanor served as a board member!), the webcast is free but you need to sign up here. Ilene and I go way way back,...

January/February starred reviews

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illustration from Good Boy by Sergio Ruzzier.The following books will receive starred reviews in the January/February 2019 issue of the Horn Book Magazine. Also in the January issue will be the annotated list of Fanfare 2018.Found; by Jeff Newman; illustrated by Larry Day (Simon).The Bell Rang; written and illustrated by James E....

CaldeNOTT

On Saturday, December 1, Horn Book reviewer and all around Great Guy Thom Barthelmess is going to be leading his annual CaldeNOTT Award discussion here at Simmons, sponsored by the Horn Book and the Center for the Study of Children's Literature. The CaldeNOTT, invented by Thom, applies the Caldecott terms and...

Hither and Yon

There's a world outside of Yonkers, Barnaby, and I've recently visited kidlitwomen* and Calling Caldecott, talking, coincidentally (I think), about gender. I hope I did so with more understanding than the White House seems to have, although, let's be real, that's quite a low bar.Also elsewhere was our Elissa, attending...

Friday Night Lights

BGHB18 judges Liz Phipps Soeiro, Katie Bircher, and Minh Le with Al Berman. Photo by Aram Boghosian, The Boston GlobeWe held our fiftieth-something Boston Globe Horn Book Awards at Simmons University last Friday night, and if the conversation among the guests was any indication, we had the advantage as a...

Starred reviews, November/December Horn Book Magazine

illustration by Taeeun Yoo from Kitten and the Night WatchmanThe following books will receive starred reviews in the November/December 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah; by Emily Jenkins; illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky (Schwartz & Wade/Random)The Patchwork Bike; by Maxine Beneba Clarke; illustrated by Van Thanh Rudd (Candlewick)Dreamers; written...

Bring the kids!

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I confess I can't count myself among the fans of Winnie the Pooh, but I urge you all to visit the new Pooh exhibit in the Horn Book's backyard. For the devout, there are dozens of Shepard's sketches and illustrations and manuscript pages (and I'm hoping Lolly, who I ran...

Hey, You

On Monday, September 10th at 2:00 PM EST, I'll be interviewing Jarrett J. Krosoczka about his new graphic memoir Hey, Kiddo. Sponsored by Scholastic Press, this edition of Talks with Roger will be webcast live and we'll even be taking questions from the audience, provided I understand the technology by...

If They Do Say So Themselves

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Here at the Horn Book we are scrupulous about giving reviewed books their full titles, even when it's Tigers & Tea with Toppy: A True Adventure in New York City with Wildlife Artist Charles R. Knight, Who Loved Saber-Toothed Cats, Parties at the Plaza, and People and Animals of All...

Do we need another hero?

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The plan to create a new Oscar for "outstanding achievement in popular film," meaning, it seems, superhero movies and action films, has me thinking about what that would look like in children's books. Although the Academy doesn't seem to have worked out just how the new award will work, it's...

September/October 2018 Horn Book Magazine starred reviews

from THE ASSASSINATION OF BRANGWAIN SPURGE; illustration by Eugene YelchinThe following books will receive starred reviews in the September/October 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine. Imagine!; written and illustrated by Raúl Colón (Wiseman/Simon)A Parade of Elephants; written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow)We Don’t Eat Our Classmates; written and illustrated by Ryan T....

Devil in the details

The July 23rd issue of the New Yorker includes an article about the Holocaust in children's literature, and particularly the contributions of Jane Yolen in The Devil's Arithmetic (1988) and her new novel, Mapping the Bones. The article, by Ruth Franklin, makes reference to a contemporary critic of The Devil's...

What shall they read?

I wanted to call your attention to two articles we have recently published about African American children's literature. Kim Parker and Our Elissa interviewed Denene Millner about her publishing of instant-landmark Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, and her interest in black everyday life stories. Children's literature professor Jonda McNair...

She's no longer a gypsy

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Sandra Church, the original Rose Louise in GYPSYDemonstrating that the social pressure to change the names of things is not limited to librarians and Laura Ingalls Wilder, Actors' Equity has announced that the legendary "Gypsy Robe" has been renamed the "Legacy Robe." (Sound familiar?)The Gypsy Robe referenced neither actual Roma people...

One of these things is not like the others

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ALA's latest elucidating Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights' Article VI ("Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use") has it in...

My Other Richard

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Roger, RichardWhen Richard Peck's memorial service--at Lincoln Center, no less--opened last Friday morning with the Pearl Fishers duet, I thought I was going to be a goner, but I managed to hold on, in no small way helped by the care with which Richard himself had planned the program--not from Beyond...

Tell Laura I love her

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I first heard about ALSC's big news on Saturday, when I was swanning about the exhibit halls with Al, and Rita Auerbach called me over to tell me that Jacqueline Woodson was the first recipient of the Children's Literature Legacy Award. My first thought was, "well, she's won pretty much every...

What lies beneath

Pursuant to that Trump biography, over on Facebook Sarah Hamburg told me about a really perceptive article about biographies for young people. "George Washington and Slavery: Going Beyond Picture Books to Teach About Our Flawed Founders,"* written by my erstwhile Child_Lit colleague Ebony Elizabeth Thomas along with James Joshua Coleman...

A book for small hands

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I've been following the criticism of Scholastic's biography of Trump for younger children, President Donald Trump, with interest but I only got a hold of a copy today, and thank you, Scholastic, for sharing it. By Joanne Mattern and illustrated with photographs, President Donald Trump is in the Rookie Biography...

What ELSE do you do?: Five questions for Elizabeth Law

Elizabeth, left, with Jenn Colella and Jonathan GroffElizabeth Law, currently Backlist Editor for Holiday House, and I have been fast friends since we met in 1980 in Zena's children's lit class at the University of Chicago. But in addition to her deep knowledge of and passion for children's books, Elizabeth...

A new journal!

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art by Maya Christina GonzalezHere's a welcome and link to the new kid on the block, Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, coedited by Sarah Park Dahlen and Gabrielle Atwood Halko. RDYL is a "peer-reviewed, online, open-access journal," meaning it is an academic journal that everyone can read for free....

July/August starred reviews, Horn Book Magazine

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  from BLUE RIDER, by Geraldo ValérioThe following books will receive starred reviews in the July/August 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine:A Big Mooncake for Little Star; written and illustrated by Grace Lin (Little, Brown)They Say Blue; written and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki (Abrams)Blue Rider; written and illustrated by Geraldo Valério (Groundwood)Rebound; by...

BGHB announced tomorrow!

Baby June's Newsboys, courtesy of the Hillbarn Players, www.hillbarntheatre.orgDon't forget to tune in to the Horn Book's Facebook page tomorrow at noon, when the Globe's Emily Procknal and I will be on Facebook Live announcing the winners of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards. In hopes that the broadcast will not...

Trivia time!

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Who's my grandma?Bon vivant Jack Gantos will again host Children's Books Boston's annual trivia night, this year on Monday, June 11, 6:00-9:00PM at the Brahmin, 33 Stanhope St (off Clarendon near Back Bay Station). Fifteen bucks cash only at the door, RSVP here by June 4th....

The Best Man

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I was very sad to get the news that Richard Peck died late last night after a long illness which, goodness, did he battle! He spent his last year doing everything he loved the best, almost all of which involved great feats of travel. Horn Book articles by and about...

BGHB announcement May 31st

The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee (Liz Phipps Soeiro, Minh Lê, and our own Katie Bircher as chair) is meeting soon to make their final choices. Here's the plan the Globe and the Horn Book have cooked up to announce them.On Thursday, May 31st, Emily Procknal, President of the Boston Globe...

Sweet Homefront Chicago

GREAT novel; misleading cover artRita Williams-Garcia was her gracious smart self for last Friday's Sutherland Lecture in Chicago; good to hear her and good to see old friends, especially my boss Betsy. Below is my introduction to Rita; you can read the lady speaking for herself when we publish her...

Lovely Rita and the Sutherland lecture

RWG, right, with her editor Rosemary BrosnanA reminder that next Friday, May 4th, finds me introducing Rita Williams-Garcia for her Sutherland lecture, "Look Here. Not There," at 7:30PM at the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago. Admission to the program is free, but you have to sign up at chipublib.org/sutherland. I...

The story on the wall

painting by Thomas Locker; image from the R. Michelson GalleriesSeeing the CSK exhibit at the NCCIL is making me remember again the vogue for illustration as fine art we had in the 1980s:  from a baby boom arose lots of picture books, lots of children's bookstores, and (he gestures vaguely towards)...

Zena is watching, are you?

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I hope you have as good a time watching this interview with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden as I did conducting it. Our conversation will also appear, edited, in the May/June special issue of the Horn Book Magazine, Making a Difference. Carla is one person who certainly has....

Texas Time

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St. Nick and me, sculpture by Steve Neves after William Joyce, photo by Richard AschWhat a wonderful time Richard and I had in Abilene! We were at the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature (still jeez to the name, but I did learn its acronym is pronounced nickel and not...

May/June Horn Book Magazine starred reviews

illustration from THE FIELD by Jacqueline AlcántaraThe following books will receive starred reviews in the May/June issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Pie Is for Sharing; by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard; illustrated by Jason Chin (Porter/Roaring Brook)Julián Is a Mermaid; written and illustrated by Jessica Love (Candlewick)The Field; by Baptiste Paul; illustrated...

Western stars light up the sky

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The first CSK Illustrator Award-winning book, 1974Later this week Richard and I are going west to Abilene to see the exhibition of Coretta Scott King Award winners at the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature (also known as NCCIL, thank heavens). There will be a bash to which we are grateful...

Woman of the Year

Congrats to Jacqueline Woodson for winning the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, first given to Maurice Sendak in 2003; Jackie is the fourth American to win, after Katherine Paterson and Meg Rosoff.I met Jackie in 1990 in Chicago, where Delacorte had sent her all by her lonesome on her first book tour (for Last Summer...

My boss Betsy

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With Betsy at the Eric Carle Museum a few years ago.As a student, I only knew Betsy Hearne from her occasional swanning in to talk to Zena about her dissertation in progress, a history and analysis of "Beauty and the Beast," from Cupid and Psyche to Robin McKinley*. Betsy was...

My friend Hazel

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I met Hazel Rochman when I was Zena's assistant and Hazel was a member of her Advisory Committee for The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books: Hazel, Isabel McCaul, Yolanda Federici, Ellin Greene, and Bob Strang. Every Wednesday afternoon this gang would come over and read the freaking twenty-something reviews Zena...

My editor Lillian

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LNG at right, with fellow great ladies Trev Jones and Madeleine L'EngleMy first professional writing about children's books was for School Library Journal, beginning my reign of terror with a letter to the editor about--my critics will love this--what I saw as excessive feminist ideology used in the SLJ review to bring...

My teacher Zena

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Behold, in the photograph at left, an embodiment of the phrase dimples of iron. If Louise was the one who led me to children's librarianship, Zena Sutherland gave me my focus on children's books. I hadn't even intended to take her class, but my friend Marybeth convinced me it would...

My friend Louise

Please never think that I am unaware of the privilege being a white guy in children's books  has afforded me. But it was women who gave me a career, and here in honor of Women's History Month and #kidlitwomen, I would like to tell you about five lady librarians whose impact...

Unwrinkling

Our Russell reviews A Wrinkle in Time based on a viewing the Horn Bookers took in together last week, in the legendary Before Time when one could get out of the house. The walking distance to a good movie theater is a definite perk of our location, and I do love...

#KidlitWomen

The Horn Book is happy to participate in #kidlitwomen, Grace Lin's brainchild honoring the contributions of women to the children's book world--and spotlighting the inequities they face. Go to KidlitWomen's public Facebook page to see links to all of the contributed posts thus far (the project will run through the end...

A word from Mrs. No Way No How

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The Times has an interview up with Ava DuVernay, and it offers much engaging insight into her thoughts about her adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, coming out next week. But it also does That Thing We Hate: "Ms. DuVernay had just put the finishing touches on the Disney movie that paid for...

The March March

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In Jane Langton's 1984 novel The Fragile Flag (sequel to the better-known The Fledgling) nine-year-old Georgie leads what eventually becomes a march of 16,000 children on Washington in the name of disarmament. It works, so take a hint, America.Kitty Flynn has compiled a directory of Horn Book recommended books on the subject...

What's in a name.

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The proposal to rename the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal presents some interesting questions (and congratulations to Jacqueline Woodson on winning it this year and tying with Maurice Sendak as the youngest recipients!). I don't have a firm opinion as to whether renaming the award is a good idea, although I wish...

#metoo

Anne UrsuYes, but not my point: Sarah Hamburg has suggested I send you over to Anne Ursu's thoughts on sexual harassment in the children's book industry. Certainly, if anyone thought the land of bunny-eat-bunny escaped the abuses of sex and power endemic to American culture, they're not paying attention! I...

I wish librarians ran the world

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Photo by Shawn Miller, Library of CongressI really enjoyed my interview with old school chum Carla Hayden in her Librarian of Congress office (with a beautiful view of the Capitol dome that nevertheless uneasily reminded me of way too many summer movies of the apocalyptic bent!). In the main, we...

A trip to the Library

Can you imagine walking in HERE every workday?I'm going to D.C. tomorrow to interview good sport Carla Hayden for our upcoming May/June special issue, themed "Making a Difference." We are going to talk about how children's librarians change the world.I won't be at Midwinter, but Martha, Elissa, and Al will...

Horn Book starred reviews March/April 2018

art from MARTIN RISING by Brian PinkneyThe following books will receive starred reviews in the March/April issue of The Horn Book Magazine. Also in March/April: summer reading camp, easy readers, gender in picture books, and an interview with Viking's Regina Hayes. It's a good issue.  Love; by Matt de la Peña; illustrated...

Re: verso

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SLJ has posted a picture I've been hankering to see: the full double-page-spread containing the infamous up-skirting image in The Ultimate Book of Space. It isn't a great scan of the spread but it makes clear that the picture making the rounds on Twitter was incomplete: what was a pic of...

The 2018 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction

from O'Dell committee chair Deborah Stevenson:The 2018 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction goes to Beyond the Bright Sea, by Lauren Wolk, published by Dutton Books for Young readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers.The isolated world of the Elizabeth Islands off of mainland Massachusetts in 1925 comes to life...

Talks With Authors

Despite the fact that I told them I dropped an f-bomb back in my first-ever preschool story hour, the powers that be have still decided that I'm going to host my first-ever live webcast, and it's coming your way this coming Wednesday. For "Exploring Race, Mistakes, and Friendship through Poetry," I'll...

Horn Book Magazine starred reviews January/February 2018

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art by Isabel Greenberg from A HUNDRED BILLION TRILLION STARSThe following books will receive starred reviews in the January/February issue of The Horn Book Magazine. Grace for Gus; written and illustrated by Harry Bliss (Tegen/HarperCollins)Ducks Away!; by Mem Fox; illustrated by Judy Horacek (Scholastic)Little i; written and illustrated by Michael Hall (Greenwillow)It’s Shoe...

R.I.P. Blanche

I was sad to hear from former Horn Book president Duncan Todd today that Blanche Egersheim, a stalwart of the Thomas Todd Company and the Horn Book for fifty years, died earlier this month at the age of ninety-eight. Blanche was, as then-publisher Anne Quirk wrote upon Blanche's retirement in 2006,...

Debs!

This Thursday at 3, JLG's Deb Ford and I will be webcasting about some recent debut authors. Should someone tell them that the second book is harder?Angie Thomas has made my day by tweeting that she has no plans for a sequel to her first novel, The Hate U Give. God...

Thanksgiving media consumption scorecard

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Nope, didn't watch a single game. And didn't read any children's books. Here is what I imbibed instead. Movies:Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Hated the title; loved the performances and was with the plot for almost the whole movie. I did see Frances McDormand play this part better in Olive Kitteridge,...

Getting ready to blow

Today we all meet to decide Fanfare, the Horn Book's choices for the best books of 2017. As I type, strategic alliances are being formed  to whittle down the current list of some sixty titles to... well, fewer. A lot fewer. It would be great if sometime before I retire I...
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