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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...

Week in Review, May 18th-22nd

  This week on hbook.com... Obituary for Karen Blumenthal (1959-2020)   From the May/June Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules: "Give Me a Decent Bottle of Poison": Writing a Mystery by Marthe Jocelyn Rule Breakers: Rule Number One by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan Rule Breakers: Stepping Off...

What Is Michelle H. Martin wearing?

I wanted Michelle Martin for this series because she's so danged outdoorsy. Why, when I emailed her asking to participate she was on her way out the door and into the rain for a bike ride with a friend through the Richmond Beach hills, which Michelle described as "killer." She wrote...

A Note from Me (May 22, 2020)

I donned a bow tie for the first time since March yesterday to record the announcement of the 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards. It was VERY NERVE-RACKING. Not the tie, although I was happy that I remembered how to tie one, but the PowerPoint/video dance, where I’m announcing the names...

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...

Books beyond buildings: Support your local bookstore and library!

For book lovers everywhere — and particularly parents across the country trying to homeschool their children right now — the services of libraries and bookstores are essential. But this pandemic has left these institutions extremely vulnerable, and they need our support now more than ever. Back in February, when we...

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...

Rule Breakers: Stepping Off the Hamster Wheel

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I was thirty-one years old. I had two fine arts degrees, both in printmaking. “Printmaking?” an acquaintance once commented. “That’s like having a degree in dressage.” In terms of usefulness or relevance, he meant. Or employability. I was onto something now, though, working at a graphic design and typesetting business...

Karen Blumenthal (1959–2020)

We were sad to hear about the death earlier this week of Karen Blumenthal. A respected journalist (for the Wall Street Journal and Dallas Morning News) and author of nonfiction books for young adults, Blumenthal also co-created the #KidLitWomen* initiative. Read our review of her latest book, Jane Against the...

Rule Breakers: Rule Number One

We’ve been writing about art and artists since 1990 — fourteen books in thirty years — and, like any longtime collaborators, we have a long list of rules. Sometimes we even remind each other about them (politely, of course). One rule we’ve agreed on since we planned our first book...

"Give Me a Decent Bottle of Poison": Writing a Mystery

My most recent book is a middle-grade mystery, my first. I realized, after only a few days of struggling to construct a murder, that I didn’t know how to do it. I’d written plenty of novels, but I’d always begun with a person, not the plot. The person, in this...

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, "a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States." Here are some links, resources, and articles by and about Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to help acknowledge, celebrate, and amplify the voices of children's book creators of Asian and Pacific...

Week in Review, May 11th-15th

  This week on hbook.com...   From the May/June Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules: Disturbing the Universe: Books That Broke the Rules by Roger Sutton and Betsy Hearne Rule Breakers: The Good Kid by Remy Lai Rule Breakers: Trusting My Instincts by Nina Crews   Read Roger:...

A Note from Me (May 15, 2020)

I’m still here and I guess so are you. Massachusetts remains in a stay-at-home advisory and we are still all working from home.  What, in your mind, is the distinction between working at home and “working at home,” complete with saucy little air quotes? Come on, we’re all friends here. ...

Rule Breakers: Trusting My Instincts

I have never felt especially burdened by rules. In fact, I sometimes find it necessary to impose them on myself. For instance: you must spend the next hour writing your essay for The Horn Book! There! Rules are a part of creative work. With every project, an artist must grapple...

What Is Gene Luen Yang Wearing?

Gene Luen Yang has one of the liveliest minds in children's books, and I was curious to know how he and his family were coping out there in California during the pandemic. He'd been on my mind because I've just read his new book Dragon Hoops, which I was surprised...

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),...

Rule Breakers: The Good Kid

From the May/June 2020 Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules. Find more in the "Rule Breakers" series here. ...

What Is Paul Faulstich Wearing?

In college, Paul Faulstich and I were in overlapping friends groups, with our joint slice of the diagram being the Food Co-op, which was sort of the Where the Wild Things Are end of one of the dorms. I have one story about retaliatory bacon bits and another about the...

Jewish American Heritage Month 2020

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May is Jewish American Heritage Month -- and Happy Lag Ba'Omer today! The Boston Public Library's list from last year is a good place to start exploring the (varied) Jewish experience in the U.S. Check out The Knish War on Rivington Street for a glimpse into the early-twentieth-century Lower East...

May/June 2020 Horn Book Magazine cover surprise

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Peek-a-boo! It's the complete May/June Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules cover. Art by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, gif by Scholastic. ...

Disturbing the Universe: Books That Broke the Rules

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Betsy Hearne and I have been colleagues for forty years, including working together for a decade at The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. Below, we discuss some landmark rule breakers from our collective memory. —R.S. ROGER SUTTON: So here we are: two longtime reviewers remembering books that broke...

Week in Review, May 4th-8th

  This week on hbook.com... Jessie Sima Talks with Roger about Jules vs. the Ocean   From the May/June Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules: Table of Contents Editorial: There Are (Almost) No Rules Rule Breakers: Walk Away by Naomi Shihab Nye Rule Breakers: The Workaround by Gene...

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...

A Note from Me (May 8, 2020)

Dear Horn Book Reader, And how is everybody this week? It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, so thank a teacher. I must add my own (rather insensitive) thanks to the Curley School, across the street from our house. Its sadly empty grounds have given the four little boys downstairs and next door a nice space in which to run around — yesterday the...

75th anniversary of WWII's VE Day

May 8, 2020 will be the seventy-fifth anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day. Here are five recent novels about the war for middle school and high school readers; see also our starred review of The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein (Little, Brown) in the upcoming May/June Horn Book Magazine....

Jessie Sima Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   Oh, wouldn’t it be great if we could go to the beach? DON’T GO TO THE BEACH. But let Jessie Sima take you there in Jules vs. the Ocean,...

Rule Breakers: The Workaround

From the May/June 2020 Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules. Find more in the "Rule Breakers" series here. ...

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...

Rule Breakers: Walk Away

I started ninth grade as one of five girls admitted to the Friends Boys School in Ramallah. We all needed a school that taught in English, but from the first week, the girls were often in trouble for minor infractions. A school mistress kept her sharp eye on us. We...

What Is Naomi Shihab Nye Wearing?

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Probably twenty years ago, Young People's Poet Laureate Naomi Shihab Nye, pictured here "wearing pants I normally only wear in Hawai'i because when will I ever be there again?" gave me an object lesson in storytelling. We were having lunch at an outdoor cafe in San Antonio, and because I...

Editorial: There Are (Almost) No Rules (May/June 2020)

Believe me, we are — we are now, anyway — well aware of the irony involved in publishing a special issue called “Breaking the Rules” during the coronavirus spring of 2020, when following the rules is the best hope we have. Please, everyone: wash your hands and keep your distance...

Cinco de Mayo 2020

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Celebrate (virtually!) with three new booklists from the Guide/Reviews Database starring the holiday itself, Mexican and Mexican American protagonists, and the Spanish language. We've got recommended fiction and nonfiction titles for primary, intermediate, and older readers. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real...

Table of Contents: May/June 2020 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Breaking the Rules

Cover © 2020 by Jarrett J. Krosoczka.   Features Disturbing the Universe: Books That Broke the Rules by Roger Sutton and Betsy Hearne Two longtime reviewers chat about books that broke the rules. How Do You Solve a Problem like Nonfiction? by the Horn Book editors Which books belong in...

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...

Week in Review, April 27th-May 1st

  This week on hbook.com... Jordan Ifueko Talks with Roger about Raybearer   From the March/April Horn Book Magazine: Happy Anniversary: The Janitor's Boy by Roger Sutton Publishers' Previews: Spring 2020 - Five Questions for... Kelly Yang | Angela DiTerlizzi | Linda Sue Park | Carole Lindstrom & Michaela Goade...

A Note from Me (April 30, 2020)

Dear Horn Book Reader:  I am writing here to let you know what we are doing to keep the Horn Book and its publications going through this miserable era (eon???) of COVID-19 and the quarantine, in whatever form that takes for you. At the Horn Book, we are all working at home,...

May Day 2020

In commemoration of International Workers' Day, or May Day, here are some book reviews and links to amplify the fight of workers and their efforts to secure better working conditions for all. This has special resonance in 2020 as today's essential workers -- grocery and pharmacy clerks, sanitation workers, emergency childcare...

Día 2020

Today is El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day), a "celebration of children, families, and reading...that emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds." Read more about the history of Día here and find resources for 2020 here....

Jordan Ifueko Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   Jordan Ifueko brings her Nigerian heritage (and twenty-first-century sensibility!) to bear in her first novel Raybearer, a high fantasy set in a dangerous and complicated world. Roger Sutton: How...

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...

International Dance Day 2020

Today is International Dance Day, a day to "to celebrate dance, revel in the universality of this art form, cross all political, cultural and ethnic barriers, and bring people together with a common language — dance." We hope you are movin' and groovin' in celebration, but when you need a...

What Is Lori Benton Wearing?

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Scholastic Publisher Lori Benton is of course dressed for work as she's at sales conference (I've never been to one of those but it certainly seems like a completely different world from your and my end of the business). Lori lives in Astoria, claims she's in the same apartment where...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2020: Five Questions for Michael Genhart

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2020, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Two accordions provide...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2020: Five Questions for Rebecca Stead

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2020, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Bea has been...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2020: Five Questions for Carole Lindstrom & Michaela Goade

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2020, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by We Are Water...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2020: Five Questions for Linda Sue Park

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2020, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Prairie Lotus brings...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2020: Five Questions for Angela DiTerlizzi

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2020, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Procrastinating? Frustrated? Hopeless?...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2020: Five Questions for Kelly Yang

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2020, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by In Parachutes, Dani’s...

Happy Anniversary: The Janitor's Boy

The Janitor’s Boy by Andrew Clements was published by Simon & Schuster in 2000. We look back on it on its twentieth anniversary.   Published twenty years ago, The Janitor’s Boy was the third middle-grade novel by the late Andrew Clements, following a bestselling debut with Frindle and then The...

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...

Week in Review, April 20th-24th

  This week on hbook.com...   From the May/June Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules: Preview May/June 2020 Horn Book Magazine   Read Roger: What Is Andy Davis Wearing? What Is Lauren Adams Wearing?   Family Reading: National Library Week 2020 by Elissa Gershowitz   Out of the...

What Is Lauren Adams Wearing?

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For many years Senior Editor at the Horn Book, Lauren Adams now teaches high school English at Natick High. Somebody is dressed for work! And her perky welcome sign reminds me of how we all looked forward to holidays because of Lauren's festive office decorations (you wouldn't think she was...

Preview May/June 2020 Horn Book Magazine

Special issue: Breaking the Rules Original cover art by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. “Rule Breakers”: essays and comics from Nina Crews, Kacen Callender, Remy Lai, Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, Jasmine Warga, Lisa Brown, Kevin Noble Maillard, Martha Brockenbrough, Amy Sarig King, Lesléa Newman, Gene Luen Yang, Lynne Rae Perkins, Steve...

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...

Ramadan 2020

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The Islamic month of Ramadan is a solemn holiday of fasting, charity, and additional prayer, culminating in the joyous feasting of Eid al-Fitr. Ramadan mubarak to those observing, and Happy Eid! We’d like to call your attention to reading suggestions from our friends at KitaabWorld, who review and recommend children’s...

50th anniversary of Earth Day

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day -- a momentous occasion. This year's theme is Climate Action because "climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable." While the worldwide pandemic has in some ways meant we've been...

Holocaust Remembrance Day 2020

Today is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. I’ve written before about the valuable role children’s and YA books about the Holocaust have played in my reading life. In some ways, my views about Holocaust literature shifted during my two years on the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee, which concluded recently....

What Is Andy Davis Wearing?

Back in the 70's, Richard, then a film and TV producer in Chicago, helped give the young Andy Davis his start, as a cameraman. Aw, look at him now--you've all seen his The Fugitive and Holes (and I recommend A Perfect Murder, besides). Living in the mountains above Santa Barbara, Andy...

Reading for Holocaust Remembrance Day

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day (established by the United Nations General Assembly) is January 27 and Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, the United States, and other countries) is in April or May (in 2020 it's April 21). All of the following titles were recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and...

Week in Review, April 13th-17th

  This week on hbook.com... Jon Lasser Talks with Roger about Grow Kind   Read Roger: What Is Kim Parker wearing? What Are Chloe and Miles wearing? Good Times to Come   Out of the Box: What are we reading? What are you reading?   Reviews of the Week: Picture...

What are we reading? What are you reading?

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Shoshana Flax: "A memoir of how many times I have walked the same ten feet."                       Martha Parravano: "Where maybe they stopped all the ferries in time and don't have the Rona."                ...

Good Times to Come

Three dates to heed: First Second is holding a conference about comics tomorrow, focusing on the creation of same. Speakers include Gene Yuen Lang and Lisa Brown, both of whose new books (Dragon Hoops and The Phantom Twin, respectively) are star-reviewed in the forthcoming May issue (Lisa also has therein...

What Are Chloe and Miles Wearing?

Our grandchildren, Chloe and Miles, live with their lovely parents in Marin County, CA, and like the rest of us they are stuck at home. Luckily, their parents are super-outdoorsy (didn't get that from me) plus they have a POOL (ditto). Living the California dream, kids. What do you miss...

Jon Lasser Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   With his daughter Sage Foster-Lasser and illustrator Christopher Lyles, school psychologist Jon Lasser has now published three picture books about young Kiko and her acquisition of interpersonal and emotional...

Henry Cole Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   Back in high school, Henry Cole carried his lunch in the same paper bag for three years. Fifty years later, that bag became a picture book, One Little Bag:...

Middle-Grade Graphic Novels Make Good

In 2012 the Horn Book published a special issue on the theme “Books Remixed: Reading in the Digital Age.” Of course graphic novels weren’t new at the time; but books such as The Arrival and The Invention of Hugo Cabret, with their copious illustrations and hard-to-classify format, were spurring us...

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....

What Is Kim Parker Wearing?

Dr. Kim Parker is the assistant director of the Teacher Training Center of the Shady Hill School, and a great friend to the Horn Book, serving as a judge for the 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, and as the author of a really wonderful piece about John Steptoe's Stevie. For...

Week in Review, April 6th-10th

  This week on hbook.com... April Notes from the Horn Book Newsletter: 5Qs for Diana Murray and Zachariah OHora, preschool bedtime books, National Poetry Month 2020 for middle-graders, and 75th anniversary of WWII's VE Day for middle school and high school readers   From the Mar/Apr 2020 Horn Book Magazine:...

What is Kathy Ishizuka Wearing?

Kathy Ishizuka is my opposite number at SLJ, (and you should go look at all the great Covid-19 resources they are offering). I don't know if she's archived her selfie series of "Tall Guys Next to Kathy" but I'm in there. For working at home, she sports an insouciant gracenote...

What are you wearing, Bruce Brooks?

Bruce Brooks, who won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award in 1985 for his first novel, The Moves Make the Man, is a longtime friend with whom I've had many memorable cd-shopping sprees over the years, most recently in Berkeley, CA, where he lives with his wife Ginee Seo, children's publishing...

Books mentioned in the April 2020 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Diana Murray and Zachariah OHora Goodnight, Veggies by Diana Murray, illus. by Zachariah OHora, Houghton. Preschool bedtime books Brown Baby Lullaby by Tameka Fryer Brown, illus. by AG Ford, Farrar. I’m Brave! I’m Strong! I’m Five! by Cari Best, illus. by Boris Kulikov, Ferguson/Holiday. Bedtime for Sweet...

From the Editor - April 2020

I hope you are all healthy and managing at home, with — perhaps? — more time to read what you really want to. Even when your boss calls you into a Zoom meeting: just say your camera’s broken and keep those pages turning. A shoutout, too, to the libraries and...

National Poetry Month 2020

This April, enjoy poetry with middle-graders — and find more for all ages on hbook.com. Up Verses Down: Poems, Paintings, and Serious Nonsense by Calef Brown; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Ottaviano/Holt    80 pp. 6/19    978-0-8050-9929-4    $19.99 Brown (Soup for Breakfast, rev. 3/09; Hypnotize a Tiger, rev. 3/15) presents...

Preschool bedtime books

After saying goodnight to veggies (see Five questions for Diana Murray and Zachariah OHora), listeners can also enjoy these four recent bedtime books. For more, click the tag Bedtime Books. Brown Baby Lullaby by Tameka Fryer Brown; illus. by AG Ford Preschool    Farrar    32 pp.    g 1/20    978-0-374-30752-3    $16.99 Chronicling...

Five questions for Diana Murray and Zachariah OHora

In the adorable rhyming picture book Goodnight, Veggies (Houghton, 3–6 years), author Diana Murray’s tongue-in-cheek verse takes readers on a very special tour of an apartment rooftop garden as various vegetables get ready for bed. Zachariah OHora’s illustrations show friendly-faced veggies and a spiffily dressed worm, à la Richard Scarry...

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,...

Embracing Spring

Thankfully going outside for walks, runs, or bike rides — at a safe distance from one another — is still allowed in these strange pandemic times. On my daily walks the past few weeks, I've been appreciating (and garnering hope from) the fact that signs of springtime are popping up...

May/June 2020 Horn Book Magazine starred reviews

(image from Green on Green, by Dianne White; illus. by Felicita Sala) The following books will receive starred reviews in the May/June 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story by Maria Gianferrari; illus. by Jonathan Voss (Putnam) The Camping Trip by Jennifer K....

Week in Review, March 30th-April 3rd

  This week on hbook.com... Tomie dePaola (1934–2020)   From the Jan/Feb 2020 Horn Book Magazine: Publishers' Preview: Middle Grade Novels - Five Questions for... Lily Williams & Karen Schneemann | Janae Marks | Amy McCulloch   Read Roger: What is Sarah Rettger wearing?   Family Reading: Start of Poetry...

What Is Sarah Rettger Wearing?

Sarah Rettger is the invaluable — Swift! Accurate! Discreet! — transcriber for all those Talks with Roger sponsored interviews I do, and also a children's bookseller at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA, which earlier this week was named Best Bookstore of 2020 by Publishers Weekly. What is she wearing? "I...

Tomie dePaola (1934-2020)

Beloved author and illustrator Tomie DePaola has passed away this week, on March 30, 2020, from a fall. "What a rich legacy he has left us with," says Roger Sutton. Some articles, interviews, and artwork by and about this "great guy" are here; look for a full remembrance in an...

Baby Ross, meet baby Rachel: The new craze of TV-to-book adaptations

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Have you heard? Publishers are turning to popular adult television shows for picture book inspiration. Here are some forthcoming titles.   N Is for Nothing (inspired by Seinfeld) Law and Order: D Is for Dun Dun Orange Is the New Black: A Colors Primer Knope Says Yes!: A Parks and...

Publishers' Preview: Middle-Grade Novels: Five Questions for Amy McCulloch

This interview originally appeared in the January/February 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Middle-Grade Novels, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Jinxed presents us...

Publishers' Preview: Middle-Grade Novels: Five Questions for Janae Marks

This interview originally appeared in the January/February 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Middle-Grade Novels, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Talented baker Zoe...

Publishers' Preview: Middle-Grade Novels: Five Questions for Lily Williams & Karen Schneemann

This interview originally appeared in the January/February 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Middle-Grade Novels, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by High school sophomores...

Week in Review, March 23rd-27th

  This week on hbook.com... Carmen Agra Deedy Talks with Roger about Rita & Ralph's Rotten Day   From the Mar/Apr 2020 Horn Book Magazine: We Need Diverse Jewish and Muslim Books by Heidi Rabinowitz and Sadaf Siddique   Read Roger: Going on a Bear Hunt?   Family Reading: Rita...

Women's History Month 2020, Week 4

Throughout March, we're celebrating Women's History Month by highlighting articles and reviews from the Horn Book archive that are by and/or about women, girls, and female-identifying people. Look for the social media tag #HBWomensHistoryMonth on Facebook.com/TheHornBook and @HornBook.   This week's featured posts: "My Characters Don't Wear Shoes in the...

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...

We Need Diverse Jewish and Muslim Books: A Conversation

In recent years, we have seen a welcome increase in books that center diversity in race, class, ability, sexuality, and more. As members of religious minority groups (Sadaf is Muslim, Heidi is Jewish) — and at a time when both Islamophobia and antisemitism are on the rise (deeply troubling and...

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...

Carmen Agra Deedy Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   Veteran (and irrepressible) storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy, along with illustrator Pete Oswald, reinvents an old fingerplay about Mr. Wiggle and Mr. Waggle to share some truth about friendship and...

Going on a bear hunt?

The bear in my window Do you have a bear in your window? I don't know if this is just a local meme, but people in my neighborhood are putting stuffed bears in their windows for little kids to spot on their lonely socially-distant walks with their caregivers. It's a neat...
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