Related

Last 30 days
Last 6 months
Last 12 months
Last 24 months
Specific Dates
From:

To:
Specific Authors

Jonathan Auxier 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   Jonathan Auxier says he needed a break after Sweep, so here we are with Willa the Wisp, the first volume in a projected series about the Fabled Stables, themselves...

Publishers' Preview: Fall 2020: Five Questions for Saadia Faruqi

This interview originally appeared in the September/October 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Fall 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 Preteens Mimi and...

Starred reviews, November-December 2020 Horn Book

Illustration by Jillian Tamaki, from Our Little Kitchen.   The following books will receive starred reviews in the November-December 2020 Horn Book Magazine. Oddity or trend?: all the starred books have pictures save one, (and that one is about the Donner Party, so fine).   The Night Before Christmas; by Clement C....

A Girl Like Me

I’ve always loved how Nina Crews’s photocollages juxtapose photographic realism with compositional flights of fancy in ways that indulge children’s frequent interest in seeing other real kids in books, as well as their propensity for imaginative play. Crews’s art for Angela Johnson’s poetic text in A Girl Like Me capitalizes on...

Review of Stay Curious!: A Brief History of Stephen Hawking

Stay Curious!: A Brief History of Stephen Hawking by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer; illus. by Boris Kulikov Primary, Intermediate    Crown    40 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-399-55028-7    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55029-4    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-55030-0    $10.99 Physicist Stephen Hawking (1942–2018) was brilliant and iconoclastic from the get-go: as a child, he...

Publishers' Preview: Fall 2020: Five Questions for Jan Thomas

This interview originally appeared in the September/October 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Fall 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 He thinks of...

Review of Displacement

Displacement by Kiku Hughes; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    First Second/Roaring Brook    288 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-250-19354-4    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-19353-7    $17.99 This graphic novel blends historical fact and science fiction into an enthralling time-travel tale. An imagined version of debut author Hughes’s teenage self is suddenly...

Publishers' Preview: Fall 2020: Five Questions for Amanda McCrina

This interview originally appeared in the September/October 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Fall 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 Traitor follows the...

Packs: Strength in Numbers

1
Hannah Salyer may not be a name you know, but her book, Packs: Strength in Numbers, is a rarity. It’s a debut picture book by a young and talented illustrator receiving award buzz. She has already been featured in interviews at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast and Kirkus. With fluid lines created...

Review of In the Half Room

In the Half Room by Carson Ellis; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-5362-1456-7    $16.99 In a series of images that depict halves, Ellis ushers readers into a delightfully surreal setting. With pleasing rhymes (“Half a window / Half a door / Half a rug on...

Black Is a Rainbow Color

1
Caldecott Honoree and Coretta Scott King Book Award winner Ekua Holmes wows readers with her meticulous illustrations in Black Is a Rainbow Color, written by Angela Joy. The story starts with a young African American girl coloring a rainbow and notes that her color, black, is not in the rainbow.  From the...

A Note from Me (Sep 25, 2020)

1
Dear friends: I had to dress for work (from the waist up, anyway) three times this week, for Zoom interviews with Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners Kacen Callender, Oge Mora, and Ashley Bryan. They were all great, and I’m only sorry we won’t see them in person at our traditional...

Laptop workstation

Who else's home workstation looks kind of like this -- laptop balanced on thick children's books? Show us your pix!  Photo: Elissa Gershowitz...

COVID-19 is like dental implants...

Edging back from a full shutdown to -- not normal; it’s too soon for that -– something near the outskirts of the suburbs of greater metropolitan normal, is like getting a dental implant. Implants take time. You don’t break a tooth, go to the dentist, and come home with a shiny...

John Rocco 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   Because I’d only seen a PDF of How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure (Crown), I didn’t know...

Overground Railroad

1
On June 24, 1944, my grandparents boarded a northbound train in Mount Olive, North Carolina, headed for New Haven, Connecticut, where my grandfather’s sister lived. For my grandparents, leaving Mount Olive meant opportunities for jobs other than working on the farm or cleaning someone’s house. It meant leaving behind the...

Review of The House by the Lake

The House by the Lake by Thomas Harding; illus. by Britta Teckentrup Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick Studio    48 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-53621-274-7    $17.99 The titular dwelling was the weekend home of Harding’s great-grandparents in Germany, built by his great-grandfather nearly a century ago. Readers experience the peace and idyll of the...

In Memoriam: Lee Kingman Natti (1919–2020)

Editor, author, artist, and designer Lee Kingman Natti’s association with The Horn Book, Inc., spanned eighty years — surely a record. Bertha Mahony, founder of The Horn Book Magazine and owner of The Bookshop for Boys and Girls, gave the nine-year-old Lee advice on choosing ten free books from the...

Review of Punching the Air

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi with Yusef Salaam; illus. by Omar T. Pasha High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    400 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-06-299648-0    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-299650-3    $10.99 Sixteen-year-old Amal Dawud Shahid (who is African American) knows he didn’t throw the punch that left Jeremy Mathis (who is white)...

The Old Truck

1
I’m worried. My task here is to review The Old Truck by brothers Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey. But the book contains such a breathtaking amount of Caldecott-worthy elements, I’m concerned that I might not give each one its due before my time and space run out. Here goes . ....

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)

Photo: Elissa Gershowitz We know what she would do; she told us in the words she left behind and the way she lived her life. RIP, RBG. Your loss is immeasurable. May we live up to your ideals. Find book recommendations here and at the Guide/Reviews Database* tag Ruth Bader Ginsburg....

Review of Outside In

Outside In by Deborah Underwood; illus. by Cindy Derby Primary    Houghton    40 pp.    g 4/20    978-1-328-86682-0    $17.99 The intersection of outside and inside is creatively explored in this reflection on nature and its gentle persistence and ever-presence. The story begins in nature, as a young girl explores an impressionistic forest....

Rosh Hashanah 2020

Rosh Hashanah begins tonight! The much-maligned 2020 may not be over yet, but at least we’ve nearly made it through 5780. ;-) Whatever 5781 brings, we hope it’s filled with good music, good games, satisfying journeys (real, virtual, or metaphorical), good progress, good relationships, maybe a little magic, safety and...

The Books My Parents Read to Me

2
In 2014, Katie Bircher wrote this Out of the Box post about "a cause dear to my dance-lovin' heart: The Dance Happy Project..The project was initiated by eleven-year-old Georgia Bernbaum, who writes on the Dance Happy site that her goal is to "bring dance classes to more children, children who would not...

A Note from Me (Sep 18, 2020)

1
Dear friends: What I’m late with this week are my Christmas book reviews, destined for our annual “Holiday High Notes” list to be published in the November/December issue of the Magazine. I believe it was a Winnie Winkle comic that taught me that some industries — fashion, publishing — live...

A Conversation with Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson is the author-illustrator of The Undefeated, winner of the 2020 Randolph Caldecott Medal. Julie Danielson interviewed him by email for Calling Caldecott.   Calling Caldecott: What have been some of the highlights of your Caldecott year?  Kadir Nelson: I’ve been blessed with a wonderful year thus far. The news of...

Review of Chicken Little: The Real and Totally True Tale

Chicken Little: The Real and Totally True Tale by Sam Wedelich; illus. by the author Primary    Scholastic    40 pp.    g 6/20    978-1-338-35901-5    $17.99 In this clever spin on the classic tale, Chicken Little makes it clear — right from the get-go — that she’s got plenty of pluck. “Who are...

National Hispanic Heritage Latinx Heritage Month 2020

National Hispanic Heritage Latinx Heritage Month is a time for "paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society." It runs from September 15-October 15. For more information and a calendar of events, visit the National Hispanic Heritage Month website. And mark your calendars for...

Daniel Kraus 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   In They Threw Us Away, book one of Daniel Kraus’s new middle-grade trilogy the Teddies Saga, five little teddy bears find themselves in a big bad world (ours) and,...

Review of Lifting as We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box

Lifting as We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box by Evette Dionne Middle School, High School    Viking    176 pp.    g 4/20    978-0-45148-154-2    $19.99 In her preface, “Not the History You Learned in School,” Dionne sets the historical scene with the 2016 presidential campaign. Having...

Let's Do This!

3
Hi again! Today, we are sharing the list of books we plan to cover at Calling Caldecott in the months leading up to the big awards announcement. As we noted the other day, please remember that this list is not definitive. Books may fall off the list, and we may...

Review of Willa the Wisp

Willa the Wisp [The Fabled Stables] by Jonathan Auxier; illus. by Olga Demidova Primary    Amulet/Abrams    96 pp.    g 10/20    978-1-4197-4269-9    $12.99 “At the top of the world sat an island. And at the heart of that island lived a boy named Auggie.” So begins this early chapter book full of...

"Already a Butterfly": Powerful Women Characters -- Today

1
I search almost desperately for powerful female characters in whom to find strength. I need them as I need mentors. I want them for my own daughter so she won’t undermine herself and her own power (as I look back and recognize I did for so many years). I thirst...

Children's Books and Contradictions

In March 1888, New York City was in the midst of a legendary blizzard. The city had been caught off-guard, unprepared for a storm so late in the year. The trees were already blooming in Central Park, the birds were singing — and then the unexpected snow. For days, streetcars...

Review of You Matter

You Matter by Christian Robinson; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Atheneum    40 pp.    g 6/20    978-1-5344-2169-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2170-7    $10.99 No saccharine self-esteem book, this is a powerful affirmation of each reader’s worth. Robinson’s text is loaded with child appeal (“When everyone thinks you’re a pest. / When...

A Note from Me (Sep 11, 2020)

Dear friends: This has happened to all of you. You save up a book for a holiday weekend and it just isn’t working for you. That Denise Mina I told you about, The Less Dead, keeps (I mean, I’ll finish it) testing my willing suspension of disbelief. Maybe I could...

Calling Caldecott 2021

8
Hello, dear readers. It’s good to have you back as we kick off this year’s Calling Caldecott season. Ordinarily, I’d write something about how Calling Caldecott is one of many things I like about fall and winter, along with sweater weather and the possibility of snow. But there’s nothing ordinary about...

Review of The Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbjørnsen and Moe

The Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbjørnsen and Moe by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe; trans. from Norwegian by Tiina Nunnally Intermediate    University of Minnesota    320 pp.    g 9/19    978-1-5179-0568-2    $34.95 Asbjørnsen and Moe first published their Norske folkeeventyr (“Norwegian folktales”) as a pamphlet in 1841; through the...

Traci Chee 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   Fantasy writer Traci Chee moves to historical fiction in We Are Not Free, a kaleidoscopic look — fourteen narrators! — at the lives of young Japanese Americans “relocated” (incarcerated)...

Review of Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks by Suzanne Slade; illus. by Cozbi A. Cabrera Primary, Intermediate    Abrams    48 pp.    g 4/20    978-1-4197-3411-3    $17.99 Gwendolyn Brooks (1917–2000) grew up on the South Side of Chicago “with little money to spare,” but her childhood home was rich in volumes of...

Profile of 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Award Illustrator and Caldecott Medal winner Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson is the winner of the 2020 Caldecott Medal and the 2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for The Undefeated, written by Kwame Alexander, who also won a Newbery Honor for the book’s text. Here, Alexander pays tribute to his creative collaborator.   I gave my father, a children’s...

Review of Baloney and Friends

Baloney and Friends by Greg Pizzoli; illus. by the author Primary    Disney-Hyperion    87 pp.    g 4/20    978-1-368-05454-6    $12.99 In this energetic and amusing comics-styled easy reader, Baloney — an amiable orange pig — interacts with his friends Bizz (a bumblebee), Peanut (a blue horse), and Krabbit (an often crabby and...

Review of One Golden Rule at School: A Counting Book

One Golden Rule at School: A Counting Book by Selina Alko; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    40 pp.    g 6/20    978-1-250-16381-3    $17.99 Within the familiar rhythms and routines of a school day, viewers count from one (“One backpack”) to ten (“Ten chickpeas lined up for lunch”) and back...

A Note from Me (Sep 4, 2020)

Dear friends: Oy, I have eighty-seven book reviews to edit, thirty-one Publishers’ Preview questions to write, and a Talks interview tomorrow, and here I am, writing to You People. I hope it’s worth it. Hopefully (hey, let’s see if I can get a singular they in here someplace, too) this...

Carrots, carrots

Is anyone else starting to look like a children's book character? Photo credit to the seven-year-old. See also "Why is it always the redhead? —or— How to use stock photos sparingly." And to read about a real character see Roger Is Reading a Book....

Review of Frog and Toad Are Friends

Frog and Toad Are Friends [I Can Read Book] by Arnold Lobel; illus. by the author Primary    Harper/HarperCollins    72 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-06-298343-5    $18.99 Here is a welcome new edition of this iconic, Caldecott Honor–winning easy reader, reissued with a section at the end of seven pages of background material....

Review of How to Solve a Problem: The Rise (and Falls) of a Rock-Climbing Champion

How to Solve a Problem: The Rise (and Falls) of a Rock-Climbing Champion by Ashima Shiraishi; illus. by Yao Xiao Primary    Make Me a World/Random    40 pp.    g 4/20    978-1-5247-7327-4    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-7328-1    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-7329-8    $10.99 With a voice that’s distinctive, lyrical, and inspiring, teenage rock-climber Shiraishi...

Drawing Comfort from Shared Reading

4
I last saw my eldest son Rory (aged twenty-three) in person at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It was February, and he was performing in the opening event for the exhibit “Boston’s Apollo: Thomas McKeller and John Singer Sargent.” Rory’s role was to read McKeller’s letters as part of a...

Review of Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror

Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror by Natasha Farrant; illus. by Lydia Corry Intermediate    Norton    217 pp.    g 5/20    978-1-324-01556-7    $19.95 The framing structure for this collection of princess stories is elaborate. When an enchantress is invited to be the godmother to a princess, she realizes that she doesn’t know...

Editorial: Effin' Jeez (September/October 2020)

3
Welcome to the September/October issue of The Horn Book Magazine, with, among other riches, 120 book reviews blowing the horn for the best new books. This issue is also the second one whose reviews are the result of a completely digital process, with nary a hand to physical book or...

Table of Contents: September/October 2020 Horn Book Magazine

Cover from The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo! ­Illustration © 2019 by Raymond McGrath.   Features Children’s Books and Contradictions by Emma Otheguy COVID-19, New York City, and books. A profile of Kadir Nelson by Kwame Alexander The author of The Undefeated fetes the book’s artist, winner of the...

Review of 13 Stories About Harris

13 Stories About Harris by Amy Schwartz; illus. by the author Preschool    Holiday    40 pp.    g 7/20    978-0-8234-4249-2    $18.99 Thirteen short stories follow city dweller Harris on preschooler-sized adventures. A very few seem geared toward adult sensibilities; most tap directly into authentic early-childhood behaviors and experiences. Harris, completely absorbed in...

A Note from Me (Aug 28, 2020)

Dear friends: You know, ever since I was babbling about prime numbers here and here, I’ve been insisting upon them, whether we crank the TV to volume twenty-three rather than twenty-two or I eat seventeen frozen Spice Drops for my snack rather than fifteen. Numbers are everywhere. I’m glad my...

Trudy Ludwig 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   “Sometimes One can feel like a small and lonely number” according to The Power of One, but it’s also the place where everything starts. As Ludwig discusses the power...

Review of One Year at Ellsmere

One Year at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    First Second/Roaring Brook    172 pp.    g 7/20    978-1-250-21909-1    $22.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-21910-7    $14.99 Originally published as The War at Ellsmere in 2008 (by SLG Publishing) and now back in print with revamped art, this graphic...

The Writer's Page: "At the Mercy or Whim of Others": Policing Protest in Children's Publishing

“I will not write another lament.” That’s the first line of my poem “Room to Breathe,” which I wrote on May 29, 2020, the day a White Minneapolis police officer was charged with the murder of George Floyd. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, I turned to poetry, since I couldn’t...

Publishers' Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Julie Lee

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, 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 Sora has always...

Review of A Sporting Chance: How Ludwig Guttmann Created the Paralympic Games

A Sporting Chance: How Ludwig Guttmann Created the Paralympic Games by Lori Alexander; illus. by Allan Drummond Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    128 pp.    g 4/20    978-1-328-58079-5    $17.99 Before Dr. Ludwig Guttmann (1899–1980), there was no treatment for a broken spine; paraplegics were deemed incurable and usually died in a matter...

Five-plus months in...

…and is anyone thriving? If so, what’s your secret?! Back in May, Miriam Steinberg-Egeth wrote this Family Reading post –- “About six weeks in” –- about reading about school: "I found myself rejecting book after book: too much about school, too many friends playing together, too much excitement outside the...

Publishers' Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Lynnette Mawhinney

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, 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 Being a member...

Review of The One and Only Bob

The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate; illus. by Patricia Castelao Intermediate    Harper/HarperCollins    338 pp.    g 5/20    978-0-06-299131-7    $18.99 Applegate revisits the beloved cast of characters from her Newbery Medal–winning The One and Only Ivan (rev. 1/12), but this time from a different viewpoint. Bob, the tenacious mutt (“some...

Publishers' Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Kim Johnson

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, 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 This Is...

Review of Sun and Moon Have a Tea Party

Sun and Moon Have a Tea Party by Yumi Heo; illus. by Naoko Stoop Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 7/20    978-0-385-39033-0    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-39034-7    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-385-39035-4    $10.99 Sun and Moon meet for a late-afternoon tea party and discover the disparities between their worldviews. As they...

I spy with my Warby Parker glasses...

(Photo: Warby Parker Boston Seaport) ...original art by author/illustrator Maira Kalman! The other weekend I needed to get my Welty (Eastern Bluebird Fade) glasses adjusted and ended up at Warby Parker's Boston Seaport location, only to discover the New Yorker (and Horn Book Guide!) cover artist's original paintings gracing the...

A Note from Me (Aug 21, 2020)

Dear friends: Happy 100th anniversary, Women’s Suffrage! There is a really wonderful opera by Virgil Thomson and his pal Gertrude Stein about Susan B. Anthony, and while I won’t make you sit through the whole thing, go to 1:34:50 to watch Susan B.’s GORGEOUS closing aria. “Do you know because...

A Case for Nonfiction

2
Growing up with dyslexia, reading was difficult for me. The condition is genetic, so when my daughter was born, I was afraid she was destined to share my reading problems. I worried. As soon as possible, her mother and I plunged into teaching her to read so that she could...

Review of Winter in Wartime

Winter in Wartime by Jan Terlouw; trans. from Dutch by Laura Watkinson Intermediate    NYRB    220 pp.    g Paper ed.  978-1-68137-426-0    $12.99 e-book ed.  978-1-68137-427-7    $9.99 In a village in the Netherlands, in the winter of 1944–45, teen Michiel van Beusekom becomes involved in anti-Nazi resistance activities — hiding and feeding...

Publishers' Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Tessa Allen

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, 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 Sometimes People March,...

Review of The Fabled Life of Aesop

The Fabled Life of Aesop by Ian Lendler; illus. by Pamela Zagarenski Primary    Houghton    64 pp.    g 3/20    978-1-328-58552-3    $18.99 Lendler gives depth to a collection of Aesop’s fables by incorporating them into the story of their teller’s life. Working off what few facts scholars have pieced together from historical...

Publishers' Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Aiden Thomas

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, 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 Cemetery Boys,...

Suffrage Centennial 1920-2020

Tuesday, August 18, marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment: "The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex..." Three new nonfiction books on women's suffrage...

Review of I Am Here Now

I Am Here Now by Barbara Bottner High School    Imprint/Macmillan    347 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-250-20769-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-20770-8    $9.99 Fourteen-year-old Maisie characterizes her 1960s coming-of-age in the Bronx as “one of those fairy tales / where the witch eats the child.” And for good reason. Her perfume mogul dad...

Reading Together, Apart

Before the pandemic shutdown, I’d never said the words “social” and “distance” together, let alone adapted my life to fit the words. I’d been volunteering in my older grandson’s first-grade class, collecting him and his brother after school once a week to read and play until their parents got home,...

Publishers' Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Seamus Kirst

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, 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 Papa, Daddy, &...

Review of The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story

The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story by Tina Cho; illus. by Jess X. Snow Primary    Kokila/Penguin    48 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-9848-1486-9    $17.99 Young Korean girl Dayeon admires her diver grandmother (“You are like a treasure-hunting mermaid”) and wants to be like her. Grandma is a haenyeo, one of many...

A Note from Me (August 14, 2020)

Dear friends: Do you wonder at the plethora of tactile adult toys (shut up, pervs) being advertised on Facebook and Instagram? The art kits (I enjoy thinking what Himself is saying right now in response to The Sendak Artist Roll), jigsaw puzzles, telescopes…. I’m so old that I remember when...

Preview September/October 2020 Horn Book Magazine

Cover art from The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo! by Elaine Bickell, illustration copyright 2019 by Raymond McGrath. Author Emma Otheguy on COVID-19, New York City, children's books, and contradictions. Kwame Alexander, author of The Undefeated, fetes Kadir Nelson, the book's artist and winner of the Caldecott Medal and...

Veep 2020

1
It's possible there have been other vice presidential candidates with picture books by and about them that have preceded their candidacy -- but none springs to mind! Here are three recent and upcoming titles by and about Senator Kamala Harris. (And as far as we know, this is still true.)...

Five questions for Ryan T. Higgins

In young dino Penelope Rex’s picture-book debut, she learned that We Don’t Eat Our Classmates. Now the pony-loving T. rex is back in Ryan T. Higgins’s We Will Rock Our Classmates (Disney-Hyperion, 4–7 years). Readers discover her equally passionate love of rock ’n’ roll when she signs up for the...

Review of Race Through the Skies: The Week the World Learned to Fly

Race Through the Skies: The Week the World Learned to Fly by Martin W. Sandler Middle School    Bloomsbury    185 pp.    g 7/20    978-1-5476-0344-2    $24.99 The rate of innovation during the first decade of flight is as astounding now as it must have been at the time. Sandler’s compelling look at...

Five Tips to Get Kids Writing

As families prepare for the start of a new school year, academic plans are all over the place, but one constant is the need to lift up kids’ voices through this unsettling time. One of the best ways to do that is by encouraging them to write. Just a few...

Review of Clap When You Land

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo High School    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    422 pp.    g 5/20    978-0-06-288276-9    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-288278-3    $11.99 In this sharp and compelling verse novel (a 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book honoree), sixteen-year-old Camino Rios lives in the Dominican Republic and dreams of medical school. Sixteen-year-old Yahaira Rios...

Review of We Will Rock Our Classmates

We Will Rock Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins; illus. by the author Primary    Disney-Hyperion    48 pp.    g 7/20    978-1-368-05959-6    $17.99 This second installment about T. rex Penelope (We Don’t Eat Our Classmates, rev. 9/18) centers on the school talent show. Penelope loves to rock and roll, and using her...

A Note from Me (August 7, 2020)

4
Dear friends:  It’s the first week of August, and thus we remember eternal Friend of the Horn Book Natalie Babbitt, not because it is her birthday but for Tuck Everlasting’s enduring opening line, “The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long...

Review of A Bowl Full of Peace: A True Story

A Bowl Full of Peace: A True Story by Caren Stelson; illus. by Akira Kusaka Intermediate, Middle School    Carolrhoda    40 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-5415-2148-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5415-8219-4    $18.95 Each evening Sachiko’s family gathers around their table in Nagasaki, Japan. Before the Second World War, Grandmother’s bowl is the centerpiece...

In Memoriam: Tomie dePaola (1934–2020)

The first thing I think of when I think of Tomie dePaola (who died in March at the age of eighty-five, from complications following a fall) isn’t a book at all. It’s Christmas. I think of a Tomie dePaola nativity set my family had growing up. I’m not even talking...

Review of War at the Snow White Motel and Other Stories

War at the Snow White Motel and Other Stories by Tim Wynne-Jones Intermediate, Middle School    Groundwood    245 pp.    g 5/20    978-1-77306-047-7    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-1-77306-048-4    $11.99 Most of the protagonists in these nine short stories are twelve years old and bumping into the realities of human nature — their own...

Review of Good Guys, Bad Guys

Good Guys, Bad Guys by Joanne Rocklin; illus. by Nancy Carpenter Preschool, Primary    Abrams    32 pp.    g 5/20    978-1-4197-3417-5    $16.99 Rocklin and Carpenter present a ­rollicking homage to neighborhood kid–­summertime play. The story begins on the title-page spread as two children get ready to greet the morning. On the left-hand...

A Note from Me (July 31, 2020)

3
Dear friends:  Lori-from-New-York was visiting this week and we got to talk about prime numbers! (She’s a math teacher.) When I asked her if all the primes were odd numbers she replied, “We don’t know.” Chills! Prime numbers are my next-favorite thing to talk about after diegetic music. We can...

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

2
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...

Review of On the Horizon

On the Horizon by Lois Lowry; illus. by Kenard Pak Middle School, High School    Houghton    80 pp.    g 4/20    978-0-358-12940-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-12938-7    $9.99 In a poetry collection that’s as much structure as style and theme, Lowry considers two events: the bombings of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. In the...

Happy Anniversary: The People Could Fly

The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales told by Virginia Hamilton, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1985. We look back on this iconic Coretta Scott King Author Award winner (also a CSK Illustrator honor) as it celebrates its thirty-fifth anniversary.   Since...

Starred reviews, September/October 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine

From You Matter by Christian Robinson. The following books will receive starred reviews in the September/October 2020 Horn Book Magazine:   I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes; illus. by Gordon C. James (Paulsen/Penguin) If You Come to Earth by Sophie Blackall (Chronicle) Sun Flower Lion by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow) Julián at...

Review of You're Invited to a Moth Ball: A Nighttime Insect Celebration

You’re Invited to a Moth Ball: A Nighttime Insect Celebration by Loree Griffin Burns; photos by Ellen Harasimowicz Primary    Charlesbridge    40 pp.    g 4/20    978-1-58089-686-3    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-63289-834-0    $9.99 With her latest book, Burns (Tracking Trash, rev. 3/07; The Hive Detectives, rev. 5/10) has earned the right to add...

Review of Echo Mountain

Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk Intermediate, Middle School    Dutton    359 pp.    g 4/20    978-0-525-55556-8    $17.99 Since the Great Depression forced twelve-year-old Ellie’s family to move from town up to Echo Mountain, she hasn’t known how to interact with her mother and older sister; they miss their former life and blame...

Review of Bo the Brave

Bo the Brave by Bethan Woollvin; illus. by the author Primary    Peachtree    32 pp.    g 4/20    978-1-68263-182-9    $17.99 When Bo’s two older brothers, Erik and Ivan, set off from the castle on a quest to hunt a monster, they refuse to allow her to join, sneering that she’s too little....

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...

Baseball's Opening Day 2020

Today is Opening Day for baseball’s shortened season this year – Yankees @ Nationals (2019 World Series champs), with Dr. Anthony Fauci throwing out the first pitch!; Giants @ Dodgers.  You can read with the Nats through their Summer Reading partnership with the Prince George’s County (MD) Memorial Library System. Baseball...

A Note from Me (July 23, 2020)

Dear friends, As I write this I am eating my other lunch, Kashi GO Toasted Berry Crisp with fresh blueberries, dried cranberries, and crystallized ginger in whole milk. It’s a complete sugar bomb. “Mind the Gap” — I do love this slightly obnoxious list the Horn Book allows itself once...

2020 Mind the Gap Awards: The books that didn't win at ALA

Not all deserving books bring home ALA awards. The books that didn’t win.   Misplaced A Place to Land by Barry Wittenstein; illus. by Jerry Pinkney A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata; illus. by Julia Kuo     Adrift River by Elisha Cooper Lalani of the Distant Sea by...
articles

Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to reviews of books, ebooks, and more