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Margaret Bloy Graham's Harry the Dirty Dog: Still Spot On

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This is the centennial year of illustrator Margaret Bloy Graham’s birth. Graham (1920–2015), who gave children lasting images of a good-natured dog “who liked everything, except…getting a bath,” is almost always associated with her then-husband, Gene Zion, author of Harry the Dirty Dog (1956) and three sequels. After the couple...

National Parents' Day

This Sunday, July 26 (the fourth Sunday of July), is National Parents' Day. (Oh, shush up -- it is too a real thing!) Established in 1994, this is a day for “recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in bringing up their children.” At Family Reading we extend that...

Educators, please don’t forget books

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School districts everywhere are scrambling, trying to figure out what school will look like in less than two short months. The considerations and variables are staggering; as always, thank you, educators, for the work that you do. (Isn’t this supposed to be summer vacation?!) Amidst the discussions and decisions, I...

June Is Audiobook Month

June is Audiobook Month. As it is also summer vacation -- and a strange one at that! -- we've been doing a fair amount of family listening. (Hi, Strange Birds audio, which we started very soon after reading it aloud together!) Check your virtual local library; yes, it's real reading. ...

“Two, four, six, eight, don’t assume your kids are straight!”

“Two, four, six, eight, don’t assume your kids are straight!”* Happy Pride Month! And thank you, SCOTUS, for ruling to protect LGBTQIA+ workers’ civil rights! It’s about time we had some good news. Though the pandemic has forced this year’s Pride recognitions to go virtual, it’s still important to continue...

S-s-s-snake!

We've been trying to get out of the city and into nature most weekends (mask-clad and all). Earlier this month, we went for a hike at the Middlesex Fells. By Long Pond, we saw turtles, ducks, and this...amazing? terrifying? stop, you're both right! creature: The kids were fascinated; the parents...

“It’s not People of Color's job to 'fix' racism...”

“It’s not People of Color's job to 'fix' racism. It's People of Color's job to heal from racism.’ And it's all of our job to: expose racism, name it, acknowledge it, and ‘explicitly encourage anti-racist values’" (from 2019 Wee the People ABCs of Racism Parent/Educator Workshop).     Watch this Kidlit...

2020 Summer Reading Recommendations

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If there’s one book on our 2020 Summer Reading list that speaks best to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s Remy Lai’s Pie in the Sky, about two brothers who find communion in baking, of all things, in order to “adjust to life in an ‘alien’ world.” Sound familiar? Otherwise, my eye...

RLH's Coronavirus Booklist

Friend of the Horn Book and Guide reviewer Rebecca Hachmyer (or RLH as she's known by the Guide Goddesses) has compiled a list of timely picture books that address COVID-19. Take a look and let us know what you think. How are you addressing the inevitable COVID-19 Qs with young...

Baseball Fans + Summer Reading (Go, Nats!)

I love our Summer Reading list best of all. But...this partnership between the 2019 World Series champs, the Washington Nationals, and Prince George’s County (MD) Memorial Library System (details in English and Spanish), is pretty cool.I know a baseball-loving ten-year-old who might just dig it, too. Thanks to Friend of...

2020 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: High School

  Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2019–2020 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion....

2020 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Middle School

  Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2019–2020 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion....

2020 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Intermediate

  Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2019–2020 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion....

2020 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Easy Readers and Primary Grades

  Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2019–2020 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion....

2020 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Picture Books

  Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2019–2020 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion....

2020 Summer Reading List

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  Picture Books Suggested grade level for all entries: PS–2   Summer Song by Kevin Henkes; illus. by Laura Dronzek (Greenwillow) The Camping Trip by Jennifer K. Mann (Candlewick) Johnny’s Pheasant by Cheryl Minnema; illus. by Julie Flett (Minnesota) Goodnight, Veggies by Diana Murray; illus. by Zachariah OHora (Houghton) Hike...

Five questions for Lucy Knisley

Adult comics creator Lucy Knisley’s middle-grade graphic novel debut Stepping Stones (RH Graphic/Random, 9–12 years) follows city kid Jen and her mom to a small farm in the country. There she contends with new chores (feeding chickens!), tricky family dynamics (Mom’s annoying boyfriend and his daughters who visit on weekends),...

Mother's Day 2020

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 10th! If you look forward to the annual Make Way for Ducklings Parade in the Boston Public Garden, there are virtual events this year (you can read more by and about the Ducklings' papa, Robert McCloskey, here.) We've reviewed several books about moms and...

About six weeks in...

About six weeks into our collective social distancing/parent schooling experiment, I went to the shelf to pick out a few picture books for my first grader to read independently. I found myself rejecting book after book: too much about school, too many friends playing together, too much excitement outside the...

Teacher Appreciation 2020

This week marks Teacher Appreciation Week, with Tuesday, May 5, being National Teacher Day. Don't forget to #ThankaTeacher (probably virtually). And especially to those teachers (including teacher librarians!) who are also parents and trying, from home, to teach their own children and ours...there are no words. If it wasn’t obvious...

Volunteer grandma

Ed. note: Obviously, this post was written before the pandemic forced schools to close and families to stay home and visit with friends and relatives virtually. Margo will reflect on the "new normal" in an upcoming post. There I was, on the floor of a first-grade classroom, my grandson on...

10-year-old boy interviews Derrick Barnes

Before -- my ten-year-old baseball fanatic and I had been excited to chat with Newbery and CSK Honor winner (for Crown) Derrick Barnes about his new book Who Got Game?: Baseball: Amazing But True Stories!, illustrated by John John Bajet, at Belmont Books. We had come up with some questions for...

National Library Week 2020

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It's National Library Week, the American Library Association's celebration of all things library. Before the COVID-19 crisis, the tagline for this year was "Find Your Place at the Library" -- a commendable sentiment that suddenly became a whole lot more complicated. But look right -- now (if you're lucky enough...

Start of Poetry Month 2020

Did you know that April is #NationalPoetryMonth? Throughout the month we'll be posting links and resources — start here with articles + recommendations from our recent archive....

This Night Is Different

I’ve been hearing a lot about virtual story times these days, and I have some family experience with them. Reading over Skype or Zoom or anything else may not be exactly the same as reading on the same couch and passing the book around to give everyone a better look,...

Muslim Women's Day

In honor of Muslim Women's Day, re-read Julie Hakim Azzam's "Books in the Home" article: "'Mommy, Do I Have White Skin?': Skin Color, Family, and Picture Books,"from the November/December 2016 Horn Book Magazine. See also Five Questions for Jasmine Warga about Other Words for Home and "We Need Diverse Jewish...

Rita + Ralph at home

This week Carmen Agra Deedy Talks with Roger about Rita & Ralph's Rotten Day. We've had our share of those this month — who else?! Best advice: avoid playing Sticks and Stones (as Rita and Ralph do, with actual sticks and stones). And do say "I'm sorry" — as Rita...

Staying home

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With the kids learning from home for the foreseeable future, we thought some author/illustrator interviews could hold their attention. Watch this space -- and follow #HBInterviews on Twitter and Facebook. Edited to add: the interviews were conducted with an adult readership in mind, so maybe run an eye over any...

MASH

Per the highly scientific children's game MASH*, we were this close to having my kid be a next-gen Horn Booker. Oh well -- alicorn** trainer it is! *Predictor of future profession, living arrangement, marital status, number of children, etc. **Unicorn that can fly....

Ask Family Reading: Dueling Books

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We are thrilled to announce a brand-new addition to The Horn Book's Family Reading blog: a bouncing baby...advice column! If you have a question you'd like to Ask Family Reading; offer feedback; or just say hi, leave a note in the Comments section below. Also follow us on Twitter @HornBook...

Books in the Home: The Joys of Cooking: Good Books About Good Food

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How does a person learn to cook? My mother prepared family meals every evening. She didn’t involve us in the making of the meal, but she was my model of a home cook who knew the importance of ­families eating together. She relied on a 1940s edition of The Boston...

Ask Family Reading: Watching the film

We are thrilled to announce a brand-new addition to The Horn Book's Family Reading blog: a bouncing baby...advice column! If you have a question you'd like to Ask Family Reading; offer feedback; or just say hi, leave a note in the Comments section below. Also follow us on Twitter @HornBook...

Eoin Colfer at Porter Square Books

Last Sunday my almost-ten-year-old and I went to Porter Square Books to see Eoin Colfer. Though he was on tour for his adult book Highfire, the gregarious author did not disappoint his Artemis Fowl fans and other kids'-book devotees. After a musical performance by Colfer superfan band Captain Sunbeam, the...

Building on the Foundation

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For my birthday, my husband gave me a stack of photographs as thick as a Harry Potter book. In almost every picture, I’m reading to at least one grandchild while crouching on floors, snuggled in restaurant booths, sitting on park benches, and all over our house and our daughters’ houses:...

Finding a Safe Space (Or, One Family’s Search for Middle Grade LGBTQIA+ Books)

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Last fall, at age twelve, our seventh grader told my husband and me that she’s gay. Our first and only priority at the time was to tell her with words, and show her with actions, how much we love her — first, last, and always. So, we found a middle...

And her husband’s famous, too

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Over the break, my husband and I had an entertaining celebrity sighting – Josh Charles (this guy) from Sports Night, The Good Wife, and Dead Poets Society (among many others) who was out with his family. My hubs is a huge Sports Night fan and was able to express his...

Board Book Roundup: Board Books Build Brains

They rarely win awards. Few make it to the annual “best of” lists. They get stepped on, chewed, drooled on, and thrown. Their core audiences may not remember a word of them in a few scant years. Their pages are frequently viewed out of order. But board books are some...

The Yes/No Game

Before bedtime every night, my younger son asks me if we can play the Yes/No Game to determine what books I will be reading him. This “game” consists entirely of him yelling “yes” or “no” from his top bunk while I read out various titles from his bookshelf. He doesn’t...

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...

Puppet Showplace Theater

On Saturday my family and I went to a preview performance of a work-in-progress show at the Puppet Showplace Theater in Brookline. The show was put on by Wee the People cofounder Tanya Nixon-Silberg and based on the book My Night in the Planetarium by Innosanto Nagara (author/illustrator of A...

A young fan

From Friend of the Horn Book Deborah Furchtgott: "This is a picture of my daughter Alice at the Brookline Booksmith. She and I were visiting there right after our copy of the Horn Book Magazine had arrived on our doorstep. Well, apparently Alice read it because she pointed out the...

Family Reading Fanfare for 2019

The Horn Book's Fanfare list was announced earlier this week -- hurray! Some of the faves at my house (so far) have included The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol; Saturday by Oge Mora; My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, illus. by Zeke Peña; ¡Vamos!: Let’s Go to the...

Books in the Home: Reading with Sophie: Finding Books for a Teen with Special Needs

How do you choose a book for a child who doesn’t have the capacity to choose one for herself? As the mother of a nonverbal teenager with autism and developmental delays, it is a question I ask myself all the time. When Sophie was first diagnosed in preschool, we were...

Election Day 2019

Today is Election Day -- I voted before work. My town's ballot was for City Council (twenty-two people running for nine spots!) and School Committee (eleven people running for six spots, with some great-seeming newcomers). Local elections are so important -- and I was happy and encouraged to see a...

Happy Anniversary: It's Perfectly Normal

It’s Perfectly Normal: A Book About Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Michael Emberley, was published by Candlewick in 1994. It celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2019.    Intended for readers ages ten and up, Harris and Emberley’s It’s Perfectly Normal was groundbreaking when it appeared on the scene...

ABCs of Racism Parent/Educator Workshop with Wee The People

Wee The People, a Boston-based arts and social justice project, recently brought their “ABCs of Racism” workshop to the Watertown (MA) Free Public Library. (Hi, children’s librarian Kazia Berkley-Cramer, former Horn book intern!) I’ve been to several Wee The People events, with my kids, but this was something different: a...

Yom Kippur 2019/5780

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, begins this evening, October 8, at sundown. Following Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, these are times for family, community, and self-reflection. The following books could be useful for sharing with children and/or for generating discussions. All reviews are from The Horn Book Guide....

BFFs: Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham at CPL

Last week I helped chaperone my child's class trip to the library to see author Shannon Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham talk about Best Friends, the follow-up to Hale's graphic memoir Real Friends (also illustrated by Pham). The two are frequent collaborators -- Princess in Black, anyone?! -- and their...

Just the right time

Let’s talk about the book neither of my six-year-old grandchildren would let me read. I almost didn’t read it myself. When I plucked Patricia MacLachlan’s What You Know First from the library shelf, I saw right away the book’s illustrations would not appeal to my young listeners. The pictures are...

Yes they SHOULD!

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Shout-out to @evelynmaryw who said on Instagram that "They should give this to new parents." We wholeheartedly agree! ICYMI: here's our classic, tongue-in-cheek poster "Unlucky Arithmetic: Thirteen Ways to Raise a Nonreader" by Dean Schneider and Robin Smith. Click here to download...

Danbury Library visit

It was fun visiting my hometown library, the Danbury (CT) Public Library, the other week, and getting to chat with longtime junior services librarian Christine Furlo, young adult services librarian Deirdre Johnson (a Simmons alum!), and assistant director Katharine Chung (who let my kid take two peppermints, one for his...

Pocketful of memories

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Yesterday, a friend posted a link to fabric artist Salley Mavor’s blog where Salley revisits a 2012 post on her process of creating the eye-popping three-dimensional cover art for The Horn Book Magazine’s January/February 2012 issue. Salley’s book Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes had won the 2011...

Car Books -- Help!

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Real question: with a longish car trip coming up before the end of summer, how do people "organize" their books and other kid-media? Or does everyone's car look like this?...

Five questions for The Blue Club

High schooler Kash Jain (oldest son of my former coworker Navin "nuvs" Jain) recently founded the political action website The Blue Club. "Voice. Action. Progress" reads the site's tagline, and Kash, alongside this team of likeminded teens, has very specific, concrete, and actionable ways for young people to stay informed...

Madeline at 80

Ludwig Bemelmans's Madeline turns eighty this year. Instantly identifiable, the character of Madeline is an iconic prototype for picture-book and chapter-book heroes who follows different drummers, always testing boundaries and returning home safely. After Madeline's 1939 publication, Bemelmans published several companion books; other works developed from manuscripts were published after...

Happy Camping! Summer Camp Books

It's just about mid-summer for my kiddos, and I'm thankful for the Guide Goddesses' *new* summer-camp-themed booklists of chapter books, middle grade, and YA. A huge family favorite last year was Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol, and the Horn Book Guide lists promise some solid readalikes. We're also still working...

"Raising a Lifelong Reader" tips from PBS Kids

Eagled-eyed Horn Book Creative Director Lolly Robinson alerted us to this 2016 article, "Raising a Lifelong Reader: Tips for Reading with Your Child," by longtime Horn Book Guide reviewer Cyrisse Jaffe. Cyrisse is editorial project manager in the education department of WGBH, our local PBS station. My own children's love...

Undercover Reading

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My daughter and her husband caught their six-year-old reading in bed after lights out and celebrated.Quietly, of course. They didn’t want her to know they’d seen her taking advantage of the fading daylight coming through her bedside window. Still, they managed to take a picture of her, surrounded by stuffed...

Happy Father's Day 2019 from Family Reading

Happy Father's Day (on Sunday) to those who celebrate! Here are some articles, books, and links to make Dad (and Pop and Papi and Granddad and all others of any gender who hold that place in a child's life) feel loved and appreciated."Picture Books for Father's Day." From our brand-new-and-improved...

Good enough to eat, a.k.a. thank an art teacher

Today is National Doughnut Day. Moving beyond the editorial debate (donut v. doughnut) and the regional debate (Dunks v. Krispy Kreme v. Starbucks), I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage people to thank an art teacher. Ours is Mr. Wynn, and this hugely child-friendly project pictured above consisted of...

Happy Anniversary: Stevie

Stevie by John Steptoe (1950–1989) was published by Life magazine and then by Harper & Row in 1969. It celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2019.I locate the beginning of what I’ve come to call #blackboylit — literature for children and young adults that centers the experiences of boys of African...

The 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners...for families!

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Yesterday Roger announced the 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners, and they are GREAT! My youngest, age six, will be most drawn to the picture books, some of which he's already seen, some he hasn't. Picture Book Award winner The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke, illustrated by Van Thanh...

One of the choices

A couple of years ago, I had an idea for a blog post: a collection pictures I’d taken of my kids over time, having fallen asleep on books or with books next to them, asleep, in their beds. Gripping, right? Well, that post hasn’t come to pass...you’re welcome.Elissa’s post about...

2019 Summer Reading Recommendations

What could be better than icy-cold raspados on a hot summer day? Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña’s new picture book My Papi Has a Motorcycle has had us dreaming of shave ice since our Five Questions Summer Reading interview revealed their favorite flavors (limon for Zeke; for Isabel: “Strawberry and...

Summer Reading 2019: Five Questions for Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña

Author Isabel Quintero and illustrator Zeke Peña previously collaborated on 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Award–winning graphic novel Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide (Getty, 12 years and up). Now, in the summer-perfect picture book My Papi Has a Motorcycle (Kokila/Penguin, 5–8 years; concurrently published in Spanish as Mi papi...

Thank a teacher 2019

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 5–11), and we know we speak for most parents when we say how grateful we are for these vital members of our village. Teachers’ work on the front lines has a profound impact on our children — in small and big ways.Kitty’s fourth grader...

Two picture-book, read-alike suggestions for the new royal parents (it's a boy!)

His Royal Highness, King Baby: A Terrible True Storyby Sally Lloyd-Jones; illus. by David RobertsPrimary    Candlewick    48 pp.9/17    978-0-7636-9793-8    $16.99“Once upon a time, there was a Happy Family” consisting of a mother, father, daughter (shown with tights on her head simulating long, blonde, princess-y hair), and pet gerbil. Life was...

"Stop reading and get ready for school!"

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Weekday mornings can be fraught in my house, with two grouchy non-morning-person children getting ready for school and their, ahem, like-minded parents (genetics!) getting ready for work. When my oldest was an infant, I was worried he wouldn't like to read. Now he's nine, and in addition to being a...

2019 Summer Reading List

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For a handy take-along list of titles, download our printable PDF.Picture BooksSuggested grade level for all entries: PS–2The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol (Roaring Brook)The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke; illus. by Van Thanh Rudd (Candlewick)Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World by Christy Hale (Porter/Roaring Brook)Thank...

2019 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Middle School

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2018–2019 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.For a...

2019 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: High School

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2018–2019 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.For a...

2019 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Intermediate

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2018–2019 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.For a...

2019 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Easy Readers and Primary Grades

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2018–2019 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.For a...

2019 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Picture Books

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2018–2019 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.For a...

Peep show...or how, nevertheless, the Little Red Hen persisted

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Spring has sprung around Boston! Daffodils are blooming, birds are singing, and our library is hosting a “Peep Literary Diorama Exhibition.” This year, my family got in on the fun with our own entry.I’m using family and our loosely.I thought my kids would be excited about the idea of making...

National Siblings Day

Today is National Siblings Day (here is mine; and the picture above is Roger's brother with his bloopah). Here are some booklists and articles that highlight "siblings doing what siblings do best." Find more at Horn Book Family Reading blog. From Notes from the Horn Book: Sassy siblings From Notes...

"Something's happening at the library!" in Portland, Maine

I was lucky enough to go on a moms'-overnight to Portland, Maine (with one of the travelers being this wonderful Horn Book contributor). Our hotel, which once housed the Portland Press Herald newspaper office and printing press (so cool!), featured newspaper-headline wallpaper; decorative typewriters everywhere; and printer rollers in the elevator....

It's a bookend! It's a snowball flinger!

Stop, you're both right! #WinterInNewEngland #LibraryKids...

Encouraging a natural critic

I’ve been writing reviews for The Horn Book Guide since 2005, long before my daughter was born in 2011. When I first started, the reviews were a hypothetical glimpse into what I thought would appeal to children. I was in and out of classrooms during those early years, sometimes sharing...

"The Truth of Capten Underpants!" (More fanfiction)

It's February vacation week in Massachusetts — hang on — didn't we just have a winter break? Why, yes, we did: Winter Break: The Aftermath. Elissa's post inspired me to pull out some of my favorite comics by one of my favorite comic creators, my nine-year-old son.His Captain Underpants–inspired fan...

A big place to run and play

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My husband recently took a picture of me reading to our five-year-old granddaughter. He takes such pictures often; his phone holds dozens of photos of our granddaughter and me behind a variety of books. On this occasion, he caught us at an exciting point of the narrative. My granddaughter's eyes...

We Need Diverse Books...in elementary schools

Am I the last person to know about the partnership between Scholastic Book Club and We Need Diverse Books? From what I can tell, the two organizations have been collaborating since 2015, though I'm pretty sure our school hasn't sent home any designated WNDB flyers until last month. Or maybe...

Winter Secrets

Winter can seem like a time when there isn’t much going on outside; in fact, the season offers opportunities to see things that are otherwise obscured by the growth and busyness of the other seasons. At our house in winter, for example, we can see through the skeletons of trees...

Winter break: The Aftermath

We are going through a Diary of a Wimpy Kid phase at my house, big-time (and thank you to the Cambridge Public Library for carrying a bajillion copies of many of the titles). Reading and re-reading those books was one of the things that kept us occupied over the winter...

"Love Your Neighbor" booklist series from the Association of Jewish Libraries

Following the October 2018 gun murders at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and in response to rising anti-Semitism in the United States, the Association of Jewish Libraries began compiling a series of themed booklists for children, families, and communities. The "Love Your Neighbor" series includes four lists:List #1...

Francie at Frugal

On Saturday, I went to Frugal Bookstore for Francie Latour's "Auntie Luce Holiday Book Event." Francie is the author of Auntie Luce's Talking Paintings, illustrated by Ken Daley (Groundwood), inspired by Haitian artist Luce Turnier (1924-1994). She's also one half of Wee The People (with Tanya Nixon-Silberg):Wee The People (WTP)...

On Kristin Cashore's "Different Drums: Embracing the Strange" (from 2013)

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Author Kristin Cashore’s “Different Drums: Embracing the Strange” appeared in the Magazine’s March/April 2013 special issue, “Different Drummers.” The short piece is her response to the Horn Book editors’ question, posed to a handful of authors, publishers, and critics: “What’s the strangest children’s book you’ve ever enjoyed?”Kristin’s answer? Moominsummer Madness...

Make a Circle

Children’s books are better today than they were when my own children were small. At least, I think they are. It’s possible that good books existed in the late- to mid-1970s and 1980s, and I lacked the leisure to find them on the shelves. Going to the library in those...

On Julie Luecke’s “Reading Along the Gender Continuum” (from 2012)

“The reality, however, is that many children are gender variant (with interests and behaviors persistently outside of typical cultural gender norms) and at different points in their lives might be living or exploring at various places along the gender identity continuum.”If there had been a Horn Book blog focused on...

Bearing witness

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“It is amazing that art could come from such unimaginable atrocity, that writers have found so many different forms — fiction, memoir, poetry, history, even comic strip — to bear witness. These authors have found a form to give voice to the unspeakable.” — Hazel RochmanI was planning to post...

Yes, kids CAN!

I am so in awe of the twenty-one young people, ages eleven to twenty-two, suing the Federal Government in order to recognize and address the looming crisis of climate change for a better future (or for even a future). The Juliana v. U.S. trial was set to begin next Monday,...

Halloween is happening!

Seven days and counting…You’ve got the costumes (made the costumes? kudos!); you've decorated the house with ghosts and ghouls; and you’ve got the candy (you’ll probably need to restock by next Wednesday night — let’s be real). Now gather some literary treats courtesy of Horn BOO! It's the Horn Book’s...

Jewish Books, Jewish Families

When I was growing up in the 1960s, my family had a book given to us by cousins who had outgrown children’s books. (There are people who do that!). What the Moon Brought by Sadie Rose Weilerstein, illustrated by Mathilda Keller, was first released in 1942 by the Jewish Publication...

Mitali Perkins at Belmont Books

I don't usually fangirl out (though, yes, when I do I go hard). In fact I can be downright mean about books! But last night Martha and I went to Belmont Books to see Mitali Perkins, author of one of my favorites from last year You Bring the Distant Near,...

Listen to kidlitwomen*

“We should be starting [to talk with kids about sexual harassment] before we think it’s going to happen rather than after.”  —Corey Ann Haydu, from the kidlitwomen* podcast, episode #25I love the kidlitwomen* podcast, and this week’s episodes (#24 On Writing, Sexual Harassment and Being an Example and #25 Conversation...

Books, Fresh and Juicy

Not long after I started toting library books to my grandchildren’s houses, one of my daughters gave me a gift: a sturdy canvas bag with wide handles and, on the side, a photograph of my three grandchildren and me reading.I treasure the bag, not just because of the photo, not...

Board Book Roundup: Treasure Hunting in the Public Library

The parents, caregivers, and babies who visit the main branch of my public library love board books. They eat them up — sometimes literally. We keep the books jumbled in a long wooden bin that sits low to the floor on a cozy rug. Pre-walkers use the bin’s edge to...

Rosh Hashanah 2018/5779

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Today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year (year 5779!); Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, begins next Tuesday, September 18, at sundown. These are times in the year for family, community, and self-reflection (and our thoughts are with Shoshana's family!). My family started a new, anachronistic "tradition" by making...

Grandparents Day 2018

Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 9. Here are some recent books for young readers and listeners about grandparents, grandchildren, and intergenerational friendships that celebrate the special bond between children and their elders. Reviews are from current or forthcoming issues of The Horn Book Guide.Brantley-Newton, Vanessa  Grandma's Purse32 pp. Knopf 2018...

On Jessica Angotti's "Committing the Crime Without Doing the Time" (from 2010)

“Based on my observations, it seems children find a loophole. Straddling reality and fantasy allows them to keep one foot in the story, dancing all night and getting into trouble, and the other one out, avoiding time-outs or bed without dinner. This hokey-pokey stance gives young readers the best of...
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