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Five questions for Matt Ringler

Strollercoaster (Little, Brown, 2–5 years) written by Matt Ringler, illustrated by Raúl the Third and Elaine Bay, takes viewers on a high-octane adventure throughout a vibrant city…all from the comfort of an over-tired little girl’s stroller at naptime. Good thinking, Dad! Father’s Day is June 20; find more book recommendations...

Simple and Unassuming: Seeing Myself in the Story of a Bossy Rooster

You never know what it is about a book that an individual reader will connect with. It could be a character’s personality or interests. It could be the setting, a shared home. And sometimes it is something as simple and unassuming as an object. Let’s say, a box. When my...

From the Editor - June 2021

Mark the date, June 23rd, to come to Hbook.com and watch my announcement of the winners of the 2021 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards. Our three judges (Shoshana Flax, Nicholl Denice Montgomery, and Luann Toth as chair) worked thoughtfully and prodigiously to bring us a stellar roster of winners this year,...

Lighting the Candle: Blank Page Spark

From the May/June 2021 special issue of The Horn Book Magazine: The Pura Belpré Award at 25. Find more in the "Lighting the Candle" series here....

Lighting the Candle: The Sun Always Came Out Tomorrow

Miss Hannigan’s purple dress peeked out from behind the mulberry tree, the breeze pushing it against her calf and slightly above her black heels. She was good at hiding, but we were aware of her presence and that she’d been on our trail for the last twenty minutes and was...

Lighting the Candle: The Moments That Inspired the Journey

Alma Flor Ada at age five, in front of the Quinta Simoni in 1943. Photo courtesy of Alma Flora Ada. Growing up in Cuba at my grandmother’s home, the Quinta Simoni, surrounded by family and nature, was a most magical time. My parents, aunts, and uncles were all still young,...

AfroLatin@ Children's Literature, Education, and the Black Diaspora

While working as a young adult information assistant at the Countee Cullen Library, located behind the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City, I visited the James Weldon Johnson Reference Collection, on the children’s floor. The collection consists of an impressive array of Black children’s books,...

Preview July/August 2021 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: ALA Awards

Special Issue: ALA Awards. Original cover art by 2021 Caldecott Medal winner Michaela Goade. “2020 in Pictures and Words”: The Horn Book editors discuss the children’s book landscape in an unusual and groundbreaking year. Michaela Goade’s Caldecott Medal acceptance speech. A profile of Michaela Goade by her agent, Kirsten Hall....

Lighting the Candle: Tato's Tales

From the May/June 2021 special issue of The Horn Book Magazine: The Pura Belpré Award at 25. Find more in the "Lighting the Candle" series here....

Lighting the Candle: Thinking About the Verb

When I speak to groups of young people, I say, “I’m going to ask you a question. I’ll give you three seconds to think of an answer, and right now, I’m going to tell you that you will be wrong.” The question I ask is: “What do you want to...

Notes from Our Backyard

The Cinco Puntos Press office in El Paso.   Let us begin by congratulating REFORMA and all the wonderful activist librarians who have made the Pura Belpré Award such a great success. Twenty-five years! They have fought for Latinx culture in its many forms and in doing so have brought...

Lighting the Candle: A Wild Ride

From left: Carmen's father, Carlos Agra; sister, Tersi Agra Bendiburg; Carmen Agra Deedy; and mother, Esther Ponz Agra, several years after arriving in the United States. Photo courtesy of Carmen Agra Deedy. When I was in middle school, my social studies teacher encouraged me to enter a writing contest, sponsored...

Memorial Day 2021: The Great Reset and Tomb Guard Values

On the evening the Centers for Disease Control announced that fully vaccinated people could essentially eschew their masks indoors and out, I was in Manhattan keeping vigil with my ailing father. As I walked north on Riverside Drive after a visit to his bedside, what struck me most was the...

Goodbye to Two of the Greats

We were sorry to lose Lois Ehlert (May 25th) and Eric Carle (May 23rd), both of whose picture books for young children are everywhere in library collections and tucked into strollers, piled on night tables, scattered among toys and best beloved stuffies. Master collagists and colorists both, Eric and Lois added...

Lighting the Candle: Labyrinth

I came to the U.S. when I was a teenager. As I spent more time away from Mexico, where I grew up, I began to feel a little lost. I missed the food, the music, and the traditions. One of my high school teachers noticed this and loaned me a...

Nidhi Chanani 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   By the way of searching for her missing father, Shaheen and her cousin Tannaz find a mysterious Jukebox that sets them spinning into the past to hear whatever record...

Field Notes: Pandemic Diary: Bilingual Virtual Programming

Children’s literature has the unique ability to inspire a lifelong love of reading for children and their families. One of the books that shaped my own understanding of growing up biracial, as a Honduran American, was Arroz con leche: canciones y ritmos populares de América Latina / Rice with Milk:...

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2021

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...

Lighting the Candle: The Year I Turned Ten

"Una vez que un objeto ha sido incorporado a una pintura, acepta un nuevo destino." —Georges Braque   The year I turned ten, my father moved us from my island of Puerto Rico to Buenos Aires, Argentina. For him, it was a long-awaited ­sabbatical. One he dreamt of spending in...

Lighting the Candle: Bagazo and El Josco

From the May/June 2021 special issue of The Horn Book Magazine: The Pura Belpré Award at 25. Find more in the "Lighting the Candle" series here....

Lighting the Candle: One Story, One Day

Mr. Riley’s room was just past the bathrooms on the left side of the hall across from the lockers (which, for some reason, we were not allowed to use). He stood in the doorway, hands in pockets, and welcomed us into class every day. He was a nice enough guy,...

Un Poquito Complicated: Spanish and the Pura Belpré Award

When the Pura Belpré Award was established in 1996, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA) made clear that it was intended to recognize Latinx creators “whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work...

Lighting the Candle: Thinking in Pictures

For me, a trip to the grocery store is an adventure. Choosing between red and green peppers involves staving off ravenous zombies who want to snack on my earlobes. Hefting ten pounds of black beans into my cart requires hiding from reptilian-skinned aliens intent on harvesting my toenails. Picking up...

Pura Belpré Award by the Numbers

The Award The Pura Belpré Award (PBA) has been awarded on 20 occasions: every other year from 1996 to 2008, and annually since then. Each year, there is a Medal winner in the categories of Children’s Narrative, Youth Illustration, and (as of 2021) Young Adult Narrative. Honor Books may also...

Kosoko Jackson 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   As I told my husband while I was reading Yesterday Is History, “Well, it’s a time-travel novel with a gay love triangle, and it’s set down the street from...

Lighting the Candle: Boom Box

I used to drive my mother dizzy with my never-ending stories. There was always something to share. A short TV cartoon I’d seen could turn into three hours of retelling. On my mother’s heels, from room to room, I would spin the smallest of daily events into an epic narrative...

Lighting the Candle: ¡Bórralo!

From the May/June 2021 special issue of The Horn Book Magazine: The Pura Belpré Award at 25. Find more in the "Lighting the Candle" series here....

Lighting the Candle: Pages of Pleasure

El Paso, Texas, a city on the U.S.–Mexico border, the city where Mom, my three siblings, my three children, and I were born. I grew up in a loving, bilingual home, English and Spanish — the second-most spoken language in the United States. Neither of Mom’s parents spoke English, though...

Titi Pura: A Conversation with Cristina Maduro and Lisa Fenstermacher

Anika Aldamuy Denise received a 2020 Pura Belpré narrative honor award for the picture-book biography Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré (art from which, by Paola Escobar, graces this issue’s cover). Anika spoke with Belpré’s great-nieces, sisters Cristina and Lisa, who share their personal recollections of...

Lisa Fipps 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   Ellie, the protagonist of Lisa Fipps’s first novel, Starfish, has a very difficult relationship with her mother, who is constantly badgering Ellie about her weight. How much of Ellie’s...

Lighting the Candle: Unearthing a Writer

Mrs. Arnoldus (top row, third from left) and Donna Barba Higuera (second row from top, far left). Photo courtesy of Donna Barba Higuera. When word spread that homeroom assignments had gone out, every sixth grader at Roosevelt School waited by their mailbox, promising God they’d be good the rest of...

Lighting the Candle: El Paso to Pura Belpré

From the May/June 2021 special issue of The Horn Book Magazine: The Pura Belpré Award at 25. Find more in the "Lighting the Candle" series here....

Lighting the Candle: Inherited Exile

When I was little, my mother read poetry to me in Spanish. José Martí’s Versos sencillos were the essence of my memories from those early years. Even though he died in battle, his rosa blanca of forgiveness for enemies had an enormous impact on my lifelong commitment to peacemaking. After...

What the Pura Belpré Award Means to Me

I was digging into a plate of masitas de puerco at a Cuban restaurant on 46th Street in Manhattan a couple of years ago when the doors opened and in walked Minnie and Mickey Mouse. Nothing is ever really surprising in New York, so I assumed they were on a...

A Letter to Readers: ¡Celebremos!: 25 Years of the Pura Belpré Award

¡Bienvenidos! Welcome to this special issue of The Horn Book Magazine commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Pura Belpré Award and, more generally, Latinx literature for young people. As the 2020–21 vice president/president-elect of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and as past president of the National Association...

Editorial: (Re)Claiming Our Literature (May/June 2021)

Welcome to our celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Pura Belpré Award, founded in 1996 by REFORMA and the American Library Association to honor Latino and Latina creators of children’s and young adult literature whose work “best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience.” But before I pass...

Table of Contents: May/June 2021 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: The Pura Belpré Award at 25

Cover from Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré. Illustration © 2019 Paola Escobar. Used by permission from HarperCollins Publishers.   Features What the Pura Belpré Award Means to Me by Meg Medina Thoughts from a Belpré winner and Newbery medalist. Titi Pura by Anika Aldamuy Denise...

International Jazz Day

Cover of the January/February 2017 Horn Book Magazine by Francis Vallejo.   Today is International Jazz Day. Over on the Guide/Reviews Database, search Music--Jazz for lots of great book recommendations, and below are some links and resources from The Horn Book about America's art form. Click the tag jazz for...

Cynthia Levinson and Evan Turk 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   Author Cynthia Levinson (The Youngest Marcher; Fault Lines in the Constitution) and illustrator Evan Turk (Grandfather Gandhi; A Thousand Glass Flowers) bring to the picture book page a man...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2021: Five Questions for Carole Boston Weatherford

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2021, 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 Unspeakable indeed was...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2021: Five Questions for Graci Kim

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2021, 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 The Last Fallen...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2021: Five Questions for Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2021, 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 Ace of...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2021: Five Questions for Justina Ireland

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2021, 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 The first ghost...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2021: Five Questions for Karen Cushman

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This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2021, 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 War and...

Five questions for Linda Sue Park

The One Thing You’d Save (Clarion, 9–13 years) written by Linda Sue Park begins with a teacher’s question: “Imagine that your home is on fire. You’re allowed to save one thing. Your family and pets are safe, so don’t worry about them. Your Most Important Thing. Any size. A grand...

From the Editor - April 2021

It is National Poetry Month, and the books selected by our editors for this issue of Notes remind me of how pliable our definition of poetry has had to become: it can be poetry-poetry, as in the collections by Naomi Shihab Nye, Jack Prelutsky, and Nikki Grimes reviewed above; but...

Preview May/June 2021 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: The Pura Belpré Award at 25

Special issue: The Pura Belpré Award at 25 Cover art by Paola Escobar from Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, written by Anika Aldamuy Denise. Editorial page by special guest Sujei Lugo. A welcome letter from 2020–21 vice president/president-elect of ALSC; REFORMA past president; and Belpré...

Ramadan

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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...

National Siblings Day

April 10 is National Siblings Day (here is mine; and the picture above is Roger's brother with his bloopah). Here are some booklists and articles that highlight "siblings doing what siblings do best." Find more at Horn Book Family Reading blog; at Siblings tag; and lots and lots more at the Guide/Reviews Database...

The Writer's Page: Hello Again

Writing sequels or companion books to my novels has never been tempting to me, probably because I like to think each book accomplished all I’d intended to say. After completing When Zachary ­Beaver Came to Town (1999), I felt satisfied that I’d finished the story of Toby, Cal, and Zachary....

Field Notes: "But Are They Level O?": Leveled Reading and Antiracism

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Knoth reading to a kindergarten class in her school library. My search began with the most ordinary of questions. All school librarians will recognize the request: a teacher sent a weekend email needing book suggestions for her fourth graders — books that were well written, accessible, and of course, engaging....

Beverly Cleary 1916-2021

Beloved children's author Beverly Cleary has passed away, at the age of 104. To celebrate the occasion of her centennial, on April 12, 2016, The Horn Book Magazine's March/April issue devoted a series of articles to "Beverly Cleary at 100." "The Real Ramona" by David Reuther, longtime Cleary editor and publisher Nonfiction author...

Why Read Books from the Past?

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Mitali Perkins's nonfiction book for adults Steeped in Stories: Timeless Children's Novels to Refresh Our Tired Souls (Broadleaf Books) will be published in August. In it Perkins examines seven classic children's novels — Anne of Green Gables, Heidi, Emily of Deep Valley, The Hobbit, Little Women, A Little Princess, and...

More Than a Footnote: Challenges for BIPOC Nonfiction Authors

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For as long as I can remember, I have had three loves: jazz, poetry, and history. Those passions merged in my 2000 nonfiction title The Sound That Jazz Makes — a manuscript that was rejected more than a dozen times. The book’s first review was so negative that I cried....

Norton Passes Go

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A poem by Jane Yolen in remembrance of her friend Norton Juster (1929-2021): So, the unexpected, which he always expected, happened when he had lost the ability to expect anything at all. At the same time he became a phantom, he became a father to us all. If there is...

From the Editor - March 2021

Welcome to Women’s History Month, which we are celebrating at the Horn Book through March. Really, given the influence Bertha Mahony Miller and her Horn Book sistren still hold upon this company, it’s always Women’s History Month for us, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I may joke...

Five questions for Lesa Cline-Ransome and Andrea Davis Pinkney

The new chapter book series She Persisted (Philomel, 6-9 years) is spun off from the picture books of the same name written by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. Each entry explores the life of a strong and courageous woman who has helped change the world, with the first...

R.I.P. Norton Juster

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I was lucky enough to hear Norton Juster (1929–2021) speak at the Boston Public Library a few years ago, and brought a copy of The Phantom Tollbooth that had been passed down from my mother to me. I half-apologized for its well-loved appearance. “It’s either well-loved or well-hated,” he said. “Well-loved,” I repeated....

Editorial: A Book of One's Own (March/April 2021)

March is Women’s History Month, and although we didn’t plan it this way, it turns out that our book review section has a mind of its own, including no fewer than thirteen new nonfiction titles devoted to the achievements of a diverse ­gallery of women, heroes every one. Historically, they...

Table of Contents: March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine

Cover from Outside, Inside. © 2021 by LeUyen Pham.   Features Nonfiction Windows So White by Marc Aronson A call for diverse perspectives. More Than a Footnote by Carole Boston Weatherford Challenges for BIPOC nonfiction authors. Why Read Books from the Past? by Mitali Perkins An excerpt from Perkins’s forthcoming...

Publishers' Preview: Middle-Grade: Five Questions for Hena Khan

This interview originally appeared in the January/February 2021 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Middle-Grade, 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 Amina’s Song, sequel...

Publishers' Preview: Middle-Grade: Five Questions for David Levithan

This interview originally appeared in the January/February 2021 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Middle-Grade, 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 Six days after The...

Publishers' Preview: Middle-Grade: Five Questions for Gary Paulsen

This interview originally appeared in the January/February 2021 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Middle-Grade, 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 Gone to the Woods:...

Publishers' Preview: Middle-Grade: Five Questions for B. B. Alston

This interview originally appeared in the January/February 2021 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Middle-Grade, 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 Amari and the...

Preview March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine

Cover art from Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham. Editorial: Women's History Month “Nonfiction Windows So White”: Marc Aronson calls for diverse perspectives. Carole Boston Weatherford on challenges for BIPOC authors. “Why Read Books from the Past?” An excerpt from Steeped in Stories: Timeless Children’s Novels to Refresh Our Tired Souls...

Five questions for Frank Morrison

In Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball (Abrams, 6–10 years), written by Jen Bryant, artist Frank Morrison (the 2021 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner for R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, written by Carole Boston Weatherford) depicts the life of the NBA great and civil rights...

From the Editor - February 2021

Welcome to Black History Month 2021! As several of the books reviewed here remind us, you can’t have American history without it. Please go see all of our BHM coverage on the website, where the indefatigable Cindy and Elissa are posting related reviews, interviews, articles, and essays every day throughout...

In Memoriam: Jill Paton Walsh (1937–2020)

It’s a trick of the human mind that we rarely remember experiences in sequence. Rather, our brain does something scattershot, collaged. When emotion inflects memory, as happens at the death of a friend, it can be a struggle to organize the onrush of the past into narrative coherence. The news...

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 2020 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners 2021 ALA Youth Media Award winners Board Book Roundup: Treasure Hunting in the Public Library by Julie Roach (September/October 2018 Magazine) The 2021...

The CCBC's Diversity Statistics: New Categories, New Data

This is the fourth column in a series examining statistics gathered by the recently expanded database of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), a research library of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education. Previous columns can be found at hbook.com/tag/ccbc. Since 1985, the CCBC has kept track of children’s...

Jennifer L. Holm 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 her first science fiction novel, The Lion of Mars, esteemed author of historical fiction (Our Only May Amelia, Turtle in Paradise, Sunny Side Up and sequels, Full of...

Amra Sabic-El-Rayess 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 The Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War, and Survival, Amra Sabic-El-Rayess relives her young adult years in the small city of Bihać, besieged during...

From the Editor - January 2021

Though we won’t miss 2020 (good riddance), we will miss the world that Megan Whalen Turner created in her Queen’s Thief series, complete with political maneuvering, backstabbing, power grabs...oh, wait. World-building was perfected by Turner, and is used to great effect in these recent YA titles. If kindhearted skunks and...

Five questions for Megan Whalen Turner

Megan Whalen Turner’s The Thief (with that never-to-be-bettered twist at the end!) was published in 1996. Now, after six books set in that unforgettably detailed world, full of political machinations, double crosses, dubious motivations, and familial obligations, the series comes to a close with Return of the Thief (Greenwillow, 12...

Editorial: Happy New Year (January/February 2021)

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I can’t tell you how happy I am to write a January/February editorial where I don’t have to make a snide remark about the new president’s disdain for reading. Joe Biden reads poetry. Out loud, even. ­Goodness knows that an ­appreciation of books is not a guarantee of good character,...

Table of Contents: January/February 2021 Horn Book Magazine

Cover © 2021 by Oge Mora.   Features Horn Book Fanfare by Horn Book editors Our choices for the best books of 2020. Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards BGHB Awards Gallery 2020 Celebrating the winners and honorees in this most unusual year. Fiction and Poetry Nonfiction Picture Book “Sometimes You Have...

Publishers' Preview: Picture Books and Graphic Novels: Five Questions for Kat Leyh

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Picture Books and Graphic 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...

Publishers' Preview: Picture Books and Graphic Novels: Five Questions for Raj Haldar

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Picture Books and Graphic 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...

Publishers' Preview: Picture Books and Graphic Novels: Five Questions for John Hare

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Picture Books and Graphic 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...

Publishers' Preview: Picture Books and Graphic Novels: Five Questions for Alexandra Bracken

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Picture Books and Graphic 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...

Publishers' Preview: Picture Books and Graphic Novels: Five Questions for Three Demigoddesses

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Picture Books and Graphic 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...

Publishers' Preview: Picture Books and Graphic Novels: Five Questions for Elizabeth Zunon

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Picture Books and Graphic 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...

Publishers' Preview: Picture Books and Graphic Novels: Five Questions for Oge Mora

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Picture Books and Graphic 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...

Publishers' Preview: Picture Books and Graphic Novels: Five Questions for Lily LaMotte

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Picture Books and Graphic 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...

"Sometimes You Have to Lie": A Conversation with Leslie Brody

Nearly sixty years after the publication of Harriet the Spy (Harper, 1964) the book remains as fresh as ever, so it’s not surprising that Harriet’s author was just as captivating. In her new, thoroughly researched biography, Sometimes You Have to Lie: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh, Renegade Author...

A Conversation with Literary Agents on Diversity and Inclusion

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At the beginning of 2020, Lee & Low Books released the second iteration of its Diversity Baseline Survey (DBS 2.0), four years after the first survey was released in 2015. Before the DBS was conducted, people suspected that publishing had a diversity problem, but without hard numbers the extent of that problem was anyone’s guess. Although DBS 2.0 newly includes two more areas of the publishing industry...

Sarwat Chadda 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 City of the Plague God, Sarwat Chadda sends a young Muslim New Yorker deep, deep into mythology. We’re talking Gilgamesh. I talked on Skype with Sarwat in his...

New for New Readers: How to Publish (What I Think Are) Great Books for New Readers

Sometime in 2017, I got a call from Bernice Myers, a mid-twentieth-century illustrator of nonfiction picture books and author-illustrator of books for new readers such as Not THIS Bear! Bernice, who hadn’t published a new book for many years, had a story for me, and of course I was happy...

What Makes a Good Hanukkah Picture Book?

Let’s say, for some reason, you wanted to read the worst Hanukkah picture book ever written. Why would you wish to do this? Well, such a book could serve as a fine blueprint for how not to write a lousy Hanukkah book and/or how not to choose a lousy Hanukkah...

Preview January/February 2021 Horn Book Magazine

Original cover art by Oge Mora. Horn Book Fanfare: Our choices for the best books of 2020. Coverage of the 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards virtual celebration: judges’ remarks, speeches, photos. Kathleen T. Horning interviews Leslie Brody, author of the Louise Fitzhugh biography Sometimes You Have to Lie. An update on the CCBC’s diversity statistics from Madeline Tyner. Gregory Maguire remembers Jill...

Ava Weiss (1925-2020)

We were sorry to learn that longtime Greenwillow Books art director Ava Weiss has died, at the age of ninety-five. She was with Greenwillow from its beginnings in 1974 (having followed founder Susan Hirschman from Macmillan), retiring in 2002. Greenwillow’s Facebook page called her “brilliant” and said: “Ava designed the Greenwillow logo (inspired by Janina Domanska’s etchings in Under the Green...

The Writer's Page: Navigating the N-Word

The mere mention of the n-word is usually cause for conversation and consternation, to put it mildly. Whenever used in a song lyric or a piece of literature, dialogue and debate are quick to follow. Even so, the n-word is a brick wall I occasionally crash into, on purpose, whenever...

Lincoln Peirce 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 a sequel to Max & the Midknights, Lincoln Peirce’s Max & the Midknights: Battle of the Bodkins provides Max and her trusty companions with a truly spooky threat...

Letter to the Editor from Kathleen T. Isaacs, November 2020

September/October 2020 Horn Book   As I work at being really, really nearly retired and paring down all the children’s literature–related memberships, emails, unsolicited books, etc., I had been thinking of not renewing my Horn Book subscription. The September/October issue changed my mind. The opening “Effin’ Jeez” editorial spoke directly...

Jairo Buitrago and Rafael Yockteng 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   Interviewing this durable duo, one of them in Mexico, the other Colombia, required crossing borders both geographical and linguistic, so we corresponded via email about Cave Paintings, with Jairo...

Field Notes: Books Everlasting: Teaching Children's Literature to Older Adults

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Retired children’s librarians don’t fade away. They become consultants, and teach. When I’m not taking classes myself, I am teaching two courses about children’s books to older adults who participate in Osher, the Lifelong Learning Institute, based at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. My students are mostly grandparents. Some are...

From the Editor - November 2020

Ready to celebrate? I bet you are, and our annual Holiday High Notes list of recommended seasonal titles is here to help you get the party started. It’s not too early, he says, having picked up two boxes of chocolate peppermint cookies earlier today, and while to keep household peace...

Five questions for Jordan Scott and Sydney Smith

I Talk like a River (Porter/Holiday) — a collaboration between poet Jordan Scott and award-winning illustrator Sydney Smith — has received multiple starred reviews. The story takes us into the psyche of a boy who struggles with stuttering. After a “bad speech day,” the boy’s father takes him for a...

Holiday High Notes 2020

’Twas the holiday issue, and all across Boston... the remote-working Horn Bookers were writing reviews of recommended new and reissued Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas books. (See also Marjorie Ingall’s article “What Makes a Good Hanukkah Book?” in the November/December 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.)   Jack and Santa...

Cynthia Leitich Smith and Rosemary Brosnan 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   Author (and, just announced, winner of the 2020 Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature!) Cynthia Leitich Smith and veteran editor Rosemary Brosnan have joined forces to launch Heartdrum, an imprint of...
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