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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 don't get the work-from-home-no-pants...

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....

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

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...

Week in Review, March 16th-20th

  This week on hbook.com... Henry Cole Talks with Roger about One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey   Family Reading: Staying Home by Elissa Gershowitz (Be sure to follow #HBInterviews #HBFamilyReading and #KidsatHome)   Out of the Box: Women's History Month 2020, Week 3   Reviews of the Week: Starred...

Women's History Month 2020, Week 3

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: What Makes a Good Storytime? by Julie...

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:...

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...

Week in Review, March 9th-13th

  This week on hbook.com... March Notes from the Horn Book Newsletter: 5Q for Alice Faye Duncan, Women's History Month 2020 picture-book biographies, middle-grade mystery & detective stories, and YA magic   From the Mar/Apr 2020 Horn Book Magazine: The Writer's Page: Compassion, as Well as Correctness by Padma Ventrakaman...

Women's History Month 2020, Week 2

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: March/April 2019 Publishers’ Previews: Spring Preview, featuring...

Pi Day 2020

Pi Day (3.14) is this Saturday. Last year we recommended books about Women in STEM and computing, for both Pi Day and Women's History Month; along with two books about...pie. This year we'll add another pie-related title — Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai, a 2019 Horn Book Fanfare title....

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....

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

Five Questions for Alice Faye Duncan Just like a Mama by Alice Faye Duncan, illus. by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow, Millner/Simon. Women's History Month 2020 picture-book biographies Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou by Bethany Hegedus, illus. by Tonya Engel, Lee & Low. A Life Made...

From the Editor - March 2020

I hope you are all enjoying the March/April issue of the Magazine; here in the office we are busily pulling together the May/June special issue, whose theme is "Breaking the Rules." Jarrett J. Krosoczka is creating the cover; inside the issue fourteen authors and illustrators share stories (and comix) about...

YA magic for March 2020 Notes

These YA fantasy novels star strong and intelligent magic-wielding young women fighting to save their worlds. Read them during #HBWomensHistoryMonth — and every month. Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi High School    Holt    405 pp. 12/19    978-1-250-17099-6    $19.99 In Orïsha, where magic has recently been restored (Children of...

Middle-grade mystery & detective stories for March 2020 Notes

The following books will have middle-grade mystery fans puzzling through clues to determine "Whodunit?" See also Marthe Jocelyn’s upcoming article about Agatha Christie in the May/June Magazine — and what The Horn Book thought of Knives Out. Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body Under the Piano by Marthe Jocelyn; illus....

Women's History Month 2020 picture-book biographies

During Women’s History Month, and every month, we celebrate the accomplishments of women and female-identifying people in the arts, sciences, athletics, literacy, and more. Here are a few examples of picture-book biographies that do just that. For more follow #HBWomensHistoryMonth. Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya...

Five Questions for Alice Faye Duncan

Alice Faye Duncan’s picture book Just like a Mama (Millner/Simon, 3–7 years), illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow, explores the special bond between a young girl and her “right now” caretaker Mama Rose, who is “just like a mama to me.” The story was inspired by Duncan’s own family and is...

Happy Holi!

Holi — "the Festival of Colors" — is here! The festival has roots in several Hindu legends and is a time to welcome spring, celebrate friendships, forgive wrongs, and start anew. Here are three recent books featuring the holiday for very young children. Thanks to Ajanta Chakraborty for recently sending...

The Writer's Page: Compassion, as Well as Correctness

As a writer who is identifiable as “diverse” (I’m a South Asian Indian woman) and who has fought for diversity in our industry for over a decade, I’m often asked to offer an opinion about whether a specific book got a diversity-related issue “right.” While it’s easy for me to...

Purim 2020

There are many good ways to spend International Women’s Day (see this post https://www.hbook.com/?detailStory=international-womens-day-2020 for lots of books to read). This woman spent it baking hamentaschen — and, when the strawberry jam was a little too runny for the cookies to hold their shape, persisted by switching to blackberry. And...

Week in Review, March 2nd-6th

  This week on hbook.com...   From the Mar/Apr 2020 Horn Book Magazine: Table of Contents Editorial: Books About Kids like Me by Roger Sutton   Obituaries: Betsy Byars (1928–2020)   Family Reading: Ask Family Reading: Dueling Books by Sarah Howard Parker   Out of the Box: Women's History Month...

Women's History Month 2020, Week 1

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: Collective biographies for Women's History Month Five...

International Women's Day 2020

This Sunday, March 8, 2020 is International Women's Day. On hornbookguide.com, we've compiled two booklists of recent biographies, one for younger and one for older readers, to honor the extraordinary lives of women, girls, and female-identifying people throughout history from around the world. And every day throughout the month of...

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...

Super Tuesday 2020: We voted

Today is Super Tuesday, and we Massachusetts-dwellers are heading to the polls for primary voting to elect the next president (we hear Senator Warren is voting across the river in Cambridge practically as we speak!). We are also celebrating Women's History Month, and ICYMI read our Five Questions interview with...

Betsy Byars (1928-2020)

We were sad to hear from her daughter about the death last week of author Betsy Byars. Byars's many awards and recognitions includes the 1971 Newbery Medal for The Summer of the Swans; the 1981 National Book Award for The Night Swimmers; and an Edgar Award in 1992 for Wanted...Mud...

Letter from England: Arrows -- All Pointing Upward

One of your authors who crosses the Atlantic with great success is Betsy Byars. I confess myself among her most ardent fans. The Cartoonist (Viking) has just arrived here; along with The Pinballs (Harper) it seems to me to show subtle but interesting changes going on in Mrs. Byars's work,...

Leo Edwards and the Secret and Mysterious Order of the Freckled Goldfish

In 1935, at age seven, I sent off two two-cent stamps to Leo Edwards in order to become a member of the Secret and Mysterious Order of the Freckled Goldfish. The club took its name from Edwards's book Poppy Ott and the Freckled Goldfish. For my two stamps I was...

Women's History Month 2020

March is Women's History Month. To celebrate the accomplishments of women and female-identifying people — and in commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted some (but not all) women the right to vote — we will be highlighting speeches, interviews, articles, books, and more that underscore...

Editorial: Books About Kids like Me

The late Andrew Clements, whom we remember in this issue in my look back at his novel The Janitor's Boy, was a practitioner in a core and long-hallowed subgenre of children’s literature. He wrote what adult-book critics would call “domestic fiction” and what we would call “everyday life,” “friendship,” or...

Table of Contents: March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine

Cover art from Honeybee: The Busy LIfe of Apis Mellifera. Illustration © 2020 by Eric Rohmann.   Features We Need Diverse Jewish and Muslim Books by Heidi Rabinowitz and Sadaf Siddique Considering religion in conversations around diverse books. Middle-Grade Graphic Novels Make Good by Elissa Gershowitz From kids at school...

Week in Review, February 24th-28th

  This week on hbook.com...   Family Reading [From the Jan/Feb 2020 Horn Book Magazine]: Books in the Home: The Joys of Cooking: Good Books About Good Food by Dean Schneider   Out of the Box: Katherine Johnson (1918–2020) 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die page-a-day by Mikayla Lawrence...

Black History Month 2020, Week 4

Throughout February, we're celebrating Black History Month by highlighting articles, speeches, and reviews from The Horn Book archive that are by and/or about African American authors, illustrators, and luminaries in the field. Look for the social media tag #HBBlackHistoryMonth on Facebook.com/TheHornBook and @HornBook.   This week's articles and speeches: Jerry...

Beyond Black History Month

Celebrate Black History Month beyond February with the following recent picture book biographies of inspiring Black figures, recommended for sharing with young readers all year long.   Anderson, Beth Lizzie Demands a Seat!: Elizabeth Jennings Fights for Streetcar Rights 32 pp. | Boyds Mills & Kane/Calkins | January, 2020 |...

1,000 Books to Read Before You Die page-a-day

February is an interesting month. If you’re the type to make New Year’s resolutions, you’ll probably know by February whether or not you’ll follow through with them. For example, if you’ve already stopped going to the gym — or haven’t even started yet — I hate to break it to...

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...

Katherine Johnson (1918-2020)

We were sad to hear of the death today of Katherine Johnson at age 101. In recent years there have been several books for young people about this remarkable "hidden figure," including her 2019 autobiography Reaching for the Moon and the titles below. As we near the end of Black...

Week in Review, February 17th-21st

  This week on hbook.com... Sara Pennypacker Talks with Roger   From the Nov/Dec 2019 Horn Book Magazine: Letter to the Editor from Bill McCullam, and Response from Roger Sutton, February 2020   From the Mar/Apr 2020 Horn Book Magazine: The Birds and the Bees by Shoshana Flax   Read...

Black History Month 2020, Week 3

Throughout February, we're celebrating Black History Month by highlighting articles, speeches, and reviews from The Horn Book archive that are by and/or about African American authors, illustrators, and luminaries in the field. Look for the social media tag #HBBlackHistoryMonth on Facebook.com/TheHornBook and @HornBook.   This week's articles and speeches: 2019...

Show Me Your Shelves

Dear library and bookstore colleagues: For our forthcoming special issue, “Breaking the Rules,” the Horn Book Magazine is looking for examples of DIY book cataloging, classification, shelving, and display. That is, we want to see cases in which you broke your own rules of what-goes-where in order to give a...

Sara Pennypacker 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   Packed off each day to a recreational program for the summer, Ware, star of Sara Pennypacker’s Here in the Real World, instead sneaks out to find a most unlikely...

The Birds and the Bees

Birds of a Feather. Helen’s Birds. Johnny’s Pheasant. Strange Birds. The Parrot and the Merchant. Fly! Sometimes, particular subjects take off in children’s books. Lately, bird books are soaring, and the office hivemind has noticed bee books gathering, too. See Nesting by Henry Cole and Honeybee: The Busy Life of...

Letter to the Editor from Bill McCullam and Response from Roger Sutton, February 2020

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November/December 2019 Horn Book  It will not readily be appreciated how much a watershed the 2019 Zena Sutherland Lecture and Gene Luen Yang article represents for The Horn Book (and the Newbery and Caldecott committees). Since, at least, the February 1963 issue when Ruth Hill Viguers took a stand for...

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...

Week in Review, February 10th-14th

  This week on hbook.com... February Notes from the Horn Book Newsletter: 5Q for Printz winner A.S. King on Dig., Horn Book reviews of the #alayma20 winners, YA love stories for #BlackHistoryMonth2020, and nonfiction picture books for #PresidentsDay.   Out of the Box: Someday We Will Fly: Sydney Taylor Book...

Black History Month 2020, Week 2

Throughout February, we're celebrating Black History Month by highlighting articles, speeches, and reviews from The Horn Book archive that are by and/or about African American authors, illustrators, and luminaries in the field. Look for the social media tag #HBBlackHistoryMonth on Facebook.com/TheHornBook and @HornBook.   This week's articles and speeches: Fresh...

Five Questions for A.S. King about Dig.

A.S. King’s Dig. (Dutton, 14 years and up) was the winner of the 2020 Printz Award. The story focuses on five teens with a startling connection that is only gradually revealed. Constantly shifting perspectives — between the unforgettable teens themselves, along with an outsized cast — keep readers off-balance and...

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

Five Questions for A.S. King Dig. by A.S. King, Dutton, 14 years and up. I Crawl Through It by A.S. King, Little, Brown, 14 years and up. Reviews of the 2020 ALA Youth Media Award winners YA love stories for Black History Month 2020 With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo,...

From the Editor - February 2020

Yes, Notes from the Horn Book looks and works a little different/ly and we hope you find it works for you! (Send any complaints or compliments to newsletter@hbook.com.) It’s a very busy time in the Horn Book office: the March/April issue of the Magazine goes to the printer today and...

Picture books for Presidents' Day 2020

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The following recent picture books provide engaging looks at the U.S. presidency; the people a president might work with, meet, or appoint; and the office’s power for good. The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents by Kate Messner; illus. by Adam Rex Primary    Chronicle    48...

YA love stories for Black History Month 2020

For Valentine’s Day, here are some thoughtful (and swoon-worthy) YA love stories that center Black protagonists and focus on love in various forms — including passion for dance and relationships tested by a zombie apocalypse. Throughout February we’ve been celebrating Black History Month with articles, interviews, book recommendations, and more...

Oge Mora at Frugal Books

On Friday afternoon, several of us from the office went over to Frugal Bookstore (where I’d never been before. If you’re in the Boston area, go!) and got to hear Oge Mora read from The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read (Schwartz & Wade/Random), written by Rita Lorraine...

Someday We Will Fly: Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour

Welcome to our stop on the 2020 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour! Author Rachel DeWoskin was kind enough to answer my questions about Someday We Will Fly (Viking), this year’s Gold Medal winner in the Young Adult category. In this lushly written historical novel, Lillia and her father and...

Week in Review, February 3rd-7th

  This week on hbook.com... ALA Midwinter 2020 Slideshow   From the Mar/Apr 2020 Horn Book Magazine: Preview March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine   Read Roger: March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine starred reviews   Family Reading: Eoin Colfer at Porter Square Books by Elissa Gershowitz   Out of the Box:...

Black History Month 2020, Week 1

Throughout February, we're celebrating Black History Month by highlighting articles, speeches, and reviews from The Horn Book archive that are by and/or about African American authors, illustrators, and luminaries in the field. Look for the social media tag #HBBlackHistoryMonth on Facebook.com/TheHornBook and @HornBook.   This week's articles and speeches: An...

March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine starred reviews

(image from Hike, by Pete Oswald) The following books will receive starred reviews in the March-April 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: A Girl like Me; by Angela Johnson; illustrated by Nina Crews (Millbrook) Goodnight, Veggies; by Diana Murray; illustrated by Zachariah OHora (Houghton) Hike; written and illustrated by Pete Oswald (Candlewick) The Old...

Apply for a summer Horn Book internship + meet interns Genie and Mikayla!

Interested in learning more about the children’s book industry, book reviewing, or how magazines and review journals operate? A Horn Book internship is a great place to start. Our editorial interns are an invaluable help in managing the gazillion books that enter and leave our office (and if the phrase...

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...

Happy World Read Aloud Day

...one of our favorite days of the year! To help you celebrate, here are some recommended books, Horn Book Fanfare 2019 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners 2020 ALA Youth Media Award winners Board Book Roundup: Treasure Hunting in the Public Library by Julie Roach (September/October 2018 Magazine) The 2020...

Preview March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine

Cover art by Eric Rohmann from Honeybee, written by Candace Fleming.  Heidi Rabinowitz and Sadaf Siddique consider religion in conversations around diverse books, with a focus on Jewish and Muslim representation.  Middle-Grade Graphic Novels Make Good: Elissa Gershowitz on an ever-growing category that has something for everyone--now including a Newbery...

ALA Midwinter 2020 slideshow

Scroll through the slideshow below for some of our favorites moments (and meals!) from ALA Midwinter 2020. Read The Horn Book's reviews of this year's Youth Media Award winners, and catch up on Calling Caldecott. As always, the July/August issue of The Horn Book Magazine will include the Newbery, Caldecott,...

Black History Month 2020

On the historic heels of the 2020 Newbery and Caldecott medals going to the same African American winners of the CSK Author and Illustrator Awards at the ALA Youth Media Awards on January 27th, it's time for our annual commemoration of Black History Month (see HBBlackHistoryMonth16, HBBlackHistoryMonth17, HBBlackHistoryMonth18, and HBBlackHistoryMonth19)....

Week in Review, January 27th-31st

  This week on hbook.com... Coverage of the ALA Youth Media Awards including Horn Book reviews of the winners   Calling Caldecott: 2020 Caldecott announcement by Martha V. Parravano and Julie Danielson The 2020 Robin Smith Picture Book Prize by Dean Schneider   Family Reading: Building on the foundation by...

ALA Awards 2020: Horn Book reviews of the winners

The most prestigious honors in children’s literature, the Newbery and Caldecott medals, were awarded to Jerry Craft for New Kid and Kadir Nelson for The Undefeated on January 27, 2020, at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting in Philadelphia. Also announced at the gathering were the winners of the Coretta...

Mother forking space and time

The neighborhood that the four main characters of NBC's The Good Place resided in was rebooted over 800 times by the demon Michael. Every time one of the characters would figure out that they were actually in The Bad Place, Michael would wipe their memories and start over. The "series...

The 2020 Robin Smith Picture Book Prize

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My wife, Robin Smith, knew children's literature well — she co-founded this blog, served on many book award committees, and reviewed for The Horn Book Magazine and Kirkus Reviews — and she taught second graders for 24 years. Daily, she read picture books to them.  Robin died in 2017 at the age...

Additional ALA Awards 2020

  Alex Award [for the ten best adult books that appeal to teen audiences] A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher (Orbit/Hachette) Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh (Saga Press/Gallery Books/Simon) Dominicana by Angie Cruz (Flatiron/Macmillan) Gender Queer: A Memoir by...

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:...

Reviews of the 2020 Geisel Award winners

Winner Stop! Bot! by James Yang; illus. by the author Preschool    Viking    40 pp.    g 7/19    978-0-42528-881-8    $17.99 After a child's remote-control robot flies away in front of an apartment building, the building's residents try to help retrieve it ("My broom may reach that bot!"). The book's tall trim size...

Reviews of the 2020 Pura Belpré Author Award winners

Winner Sal & Gabi Break the Universe [Rick Riordan Presents] by Carlos Hernandez Intermediate, Middle School Disney-Hyperion    389 pp. 3/19    978-1-368-02282-8    $16.00 REVIEW TO COME         Honor Books Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise; illus. by Paola Escobar...

Reviews of the 2020 Sibert Award winners

Winner Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard; illus. by Juana Martinez-Neal Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    48 pp. 10/19    978-1-62672-746-5    $18.99 This affectionate picture book depicts an intergenerational group of Native American family members and friends as they make fry bread together. The text begins: “Fry...

Reviews of the 2020 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winners

Winner Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle; illus. by Rafael López Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 8/19    978-1-4814-8740-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-8741-2    $10.99  Engle and López (Drum Dream Girl, rev. 5/15) bring us another engaging story about a young, successful, female musician of...

Reviews of the 2020 Printz Award winners

Winner Dig. by A.S. King High School    Dutton    394 pp.    g 3/19    978-1-101-99491-7    $17.99 David has never met his father and is tired of constantly moving around with his mom. Malcolm has already lost his mother and is about to lose his beloved father to cancer. Katie deals drugs out...

Reviews of the 2020 CSK Illustrator Award winners

Winner The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander; illus. by Kadir Nelson Primary, Intermediate, Middle School     Versify/Houghton     40 pp.    g 4/19     978-1-328-78096-6     $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-05761-1     $12.99 Alexander and Nelson honor the achievements, courage, and perseverance of ordinary black people as well as prominent black artists, athletes, and activists. The free-verse poem...

Reviews of the 2020 CSK Author Award winners

Winner New Kid by Jerry Craft; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Harper/HarperCollins    249 pp.    g 2/19    978-0-06-269120-0    $21.99     Paper ed.  978-0-06-269119-4    $12.99     e-book ed.  978-0-06-269121-7    $10.99  Craft’s engaging graphic novel follows Jordan Banks (an African American seventh grader from Washington Heights) through his first year at the prestigious...

Reviews of the 2020 Caldecott Medal winners

Winner The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander; illus. by Kadir Nelson Primary, Intermediate, Middle School     Versify/Houghton     40 pp.    g 4/19     978-1-328-78096-6     $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-05761-1     $12.99 Alexander and Nelson honor the achievements, courage, and perseverance of ordinary black people as well as prominent black artists, athletes, and activists. The free-verse poem...

Reviews of the 2020 Newbery Medal Winners

Winner New Kid by Jerry Craft; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Harper/HarperCollins    249 pp.    g 2/19    978-0-06-269120-0    $21.99     Paper ed.  978-0-06-269119-4    $12.99     e-book ed.  978-0-06-269121-7    $10.99  Craft’s engaging graphic novel follows Jordan Banks (an African American seventh grader from Washington Heights) through his first year at the prestigious...

2020 Caldecott Announcement

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The wait is over! The 2020 Caldecott Medal Selection Committee has made its choices: one winner and three honor books. The winner is: The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Kwame Alexander:  The honor books are: Bear Came Along, illustred by LeUyen Pham and written by Richard T. Morris:  Double Bass...

Week in Review, January 20th-24th

  This week on hbook.com... Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey Talk with Roger   Calling Caldecott: It's Time to Vote! -- Calling Caldecott 2020 ballot is now open by Martha V. Parravano and Julie Danielson Results of the 2020 Calling Caldecott Mock Vote by Martha V. Parravano and Julie Danielson The...

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

I'm a descendant of a Salem witch — and proudly take the opportunity to bring this up any time there is a “tell us a fun fact” ice breaker. I was elated when the Netflix original series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina first aired in October 2018, and devoured it in...

The Real Awards Are Nigh!

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We want to take a moment here at Calling Caldecott, as we wrap up our book coverage, to extend our thanks. Mind you, we aren’t entirely done here at the blog. We promise we have more posts in store for you. I mean, OF COURSE we do! The Caldecott announcement is...

Visit us at Midwinter 2020 Booth 934

We're excited for ALA Midwinter 2020 in Philadelphia. We'll be at Booth 934 -- stop by and say hello! If you'd like to relive last year's excitement, read the 2019 Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King Award speeches and more, from the July/August 2019 Horn Book Magazine: Christopher Myers's speech on...

Happy Lunar New Year!

Happy Year of the Rat! We wish all who are celebrating a new year full of joy and prosperity. We've updated our Lunar New Year reading list with fiction and nonfiction books featuring the holiday for preschool, primary, and intermediate readers. All of the titles below were recommended by The...

Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey Talk 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 Norton Young Readers   Brothers Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey collaborated on a picture book text back when they were teenagers (see below); their sophomore effort, The Old Truck, finds them...

Results of the 2020 Calling Caldecott Mock Vote

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The votes are in! And the results yielded a mock winner and four honor books. Our readers chose Oge Mora's Saturday as the winner. Bear Came Along, illustrated by LeUyen Pham; My Papi Has a Motorcycle, illustrated by Zeke Peña; Truman, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins; and The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, received the next highest number of...

It's Time to Vote! — Calling Caldecott 2020 ballot is now open

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It's that time again! Time to weigh in officially on our UNofficial mock Caldecott vote. This year we once again mimic the Real Committee's actual process in some ways, and not in others. This year, we asked our readers to submit mock nominations in November and December — seven in all,...

Week in Review, January 13th-17th

  This week on hbook.com... Publishers' Preview: Picture Books - Five Questions for... Angela Joy | Minh Le | Gwendolyn Hooks & Simone Agoussoye | Evan Turk   Read Roger: The 2020 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction   Calling Caldecott: 2020 CaldeNotts by Nithya Sivashankar A Big Bed for...

Books for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Perhaps now more than ever, Martin Luther King Jr. Day provides an opportunity to reflect not only on the life of the great civil rights leader, but also on how far we've come — and how very far we still have to go. Read this Boston Globe Magazine article by...
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