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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...

Tell us all about your Mock Caldecotts!

You may not be surprised to see that, once again, we are asking you, our readers, for your Mock Caldecott plans! We know that many of you — teachers, school librarians, public librarians, and even booksellers — do mock Caldecotts with students, library patrons, etc. And you know we love to hear about them.  Want to...

A Thousand Glass Flowers

Do you ever sit with an object and think about where it’s been and where it’s going? I like to do this with my vintage beads. I run the strands through my fingers, hold them up to the light, and think about the artists who made the tiny, precious spheres,...

January/February 2021 Horn Book Magazine starred reviews

Illustration by Brian Pinkney, from Time for Kenny.   The following books will receive starred reviews in the January/February 2021 Horn Book Magazine:   Sato the Rabbit; written and illustrated by Yuki Ainoya (Enchanted Lion). Cave Paintings; by Jairo Buitrago; illus. by Rafael Yockteng (Groundwood). Me & Mama; written and illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera (Millner/Simon). Your House, My House; written...

NYT/NYPL List, We Miss You!

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JULES: Some of you may have already heard that, sadly, the New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Book Awards will not take place this year, because of the pandemic. (Here are last year’s awards if you want to take a stroll down memory lane.) I look forward...

Week in Review, November 23rd-27th

  This week on hbook.com... Lincoln Peirce Talks with Roger about Max & the Midknights: Battle of the Bodkins   From the November/December Horn Book Magazine: Letter to the Editor from Kathleen T. Isaacs   Calling Caldecott: Bedtime for Sweet Creatures by Martha V. Parravano   Reviews of the Week:...

Bedtime for Sweet Creatures

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Kudos to author Nikki Grimes and artist Elizabeth Zunon, who together have created a most unusual bedtime book in Bedtime for Sweet Creatures. One of the most unusual things about the text is that it is narrated by the protagonist's mother, who throughout the book addresses her child as she...

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...

Week in Review, November 16th-20th

  This week on hbook.com... Jairo Buitrago and Rafael Yockteng Talk with Roger about Cave Paintings   From the November/December Horn Book Magazine: Field Notes: Books Everlasting: Teaching Children's Literature to Older Adults by Amy Kellman   Read Roger: Local Girl Makes Good A Note from Me (Nov 13, 2020)...

Transgender Awareness Week

Transgender Awareness Week is November 13-19, leading to Transgender Day of Remembrance / Trans Day of Resilience on November 20th, today. We join our trans, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary family members, friends, and neighbors near and far in celebrating the lives of trans people, remembering those lost to transphobic hate...

A Quick Pause for Nominations

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It's that time of year again at Calling Caldecott where we pause briefly in our coverage of 2020 picture books to ask for readers' input. What books that are eligible for the Caldecott are your current top favorites? It's not been a typical year, to put it mildly. And award...

A Note from Me (Nov 20, 2020)

Dear friends: I can still hear Carla Hayden’s voice, forty years ago, as she was describing the allure of Flowers in the Attic to the era’s younger teens. “Because of all the forbidden stuff,” she said to me, giving the word all the mystery and danger it deserves. Kids (who...

Local Girl Makes Good

The illustration on the cover of the November/December Magazine is from Once upon a Winter Day, a picture book written and illustrated by Liza Woodruff. Guys, that's our Liza, who worked as the circulation assistant at The Horn Book back in the last century, and we still miss her, so...

Hotel, motel

If you're feeling wistful about November travel -- or about the Rosebud Motel -- here are three new books set in motels. See also the Hotels and Motels subject list in the Guide/Reviews Database (free COVID-19 access info here). No Vacancy by Tziporah Cohen Intermediate, Middle School    Groundwood    144 pp.    g  9/20    978-1-77306-410-9    $16.95  e-book ed. ...

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...

What the Hell Is Didactic Intent Anyway?

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ELISA GALL: Part of the Caldecott terms and criteria reads: "The committee should keep in mind that the award is for distinguished illustrations in a picture book and for excellence of pictorial presentation for children. The award is not for didactic intent or for popularity." In recent years, I've seen...

2020 Jewish Book Council Seminar

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In these days of not going anywhere, I had a chance to attend and speak at an event I’d never been to before: the Jewish Book Council’s annual Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Seminar, held over Zoom this year. I was part of the Post-Publication Panel, along with Becca Kantor, Susan Kusel (my former Sydney...

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

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...

Ask Family Reading: "Inappropriate" Books

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Justine writes: Help! I don’t police the books my kids are reading, but I just read a quick synopsis of the Arc of a Scythe series (Neal Shusterman), which my ten-year-old is two-thirds of the way through! YIKES! Suicide! Mass Murder! Overpopulation! Torture! Sooo many things we’ve never talked about (and...

2021 CaldeNotts

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If we here at Calling Caldecott ran the world, one of the first things we’d do is make it so that the Caldecott award could become an international award. The Caldecott manual states: “The award is restricted to artists who are citizens or residents of the United States.” But, as...

Week in Review, November 9th-13th

  This week on hbook.com... November Notes from the Horn Book Newsletter: 5Qs for Jordan Scott and Sydney Smith about "I Talk like a River"; fiction and nonfiction picture books about hearing, sound, and speech; fiction for middle-grade and middle-school sports fans, and YA American historical fiction   From the...

How to Find a Bird

I'm not a big bird fan, bordering on phobia (the thought of talons and my big, curly hair—horror). Living in the city, all the pigeons and the geese and the poop.  How to Find a Bird by Jennifer Ward, illus. by Diana Sudyka, came out in August and was reviewed,...

A Note from Me (Nov 13, 2020)

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Dear friends: I’m so sorry to have missed you last week but the close of the January/February book review section, not to mention the events of the nation, kept me otherwise occupied. Is it too soon to anticipate opening my January/February Magazine editorial with Phew? If you’re feeling at all...

Veterans Day 2020

Today, Veterans Day, is a good day to share books about veterans, their experiences and sacrifices, and their supportive families and communities on the homefront. The Guide/Reviews Database is honoring them with three new booklists of recent recommended fiction and nonfiction titles for primary, intermediate, and older readers. Grade levels...

Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

In her afterword for Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks, artist Cozbi A. Cabrera talks about how she loved researching the life of legendary poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Cabrera thanks the staff at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Rare Book and Manuscript Library for allowing her to hold...

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

Five questions for Jordan Scott and Sydney Smith I Talk like a River by Jordan Scott, illus. by Sydney Smith; Porter/Holiday. The sound of sounds Can Bears Ski? by Raymond Antrobus, illus. by Polly Dunbar; Candlewick. Ten Ways to Hear Snow by Cathy Camper, illus. by Kenard Pak; Kokila/Penguin. Sound:...

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...

YA American historical fiction

These five works of historical fiction for young adults are set during turbulent times in American history — and effectively interrogate those moments from our past. Zora and Me: The Summoner by Victoria Bond Middle School    Candlewick    256 pp.    g 10/20    978-0-7636-4299-0    $17.99 Paper ed.  978-1-5362-1667-7    $7.99 This final entry...

Fiction for sports fans

Some sports are seasonal, but reading novels about them is an all-year-round affair, and these four recent offerings for middle graders and middle schoolers are worth adding to the rotation. Lupe Wong Won’t Dance by Donna Barba Higuera Intermediate, Middle School    Levine Querido    272 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-64614-003-9    $17.99 e-book...

The sound of sounds

The following picture books — two nonfiction, three fictional — engagingly and informatively explore the topics of hearing, sound, and speech for young readers. See also Five questions for Jordan Scott and Sydney Smith about I Talk like a River centering a protagonist with a stutter. Can Bears Ski? by...

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...

World Adoption Day

Ed. note: Below is Kitty's lovely and moving FB post for World Adoption Day.  Before we adopted our kids, we learned about the adoption triad: birth family, baby, and adoptive family. Each part of the triad is forever bonded to the other two, no matter how open or closed the relationship...

How to Talk about Picture Books

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In case we don’t say it enough, we here at Calling Caldecott are immensely grateful to all of the guest posters who visit and write about picture books. We enjoy reading their posts and appreciate their thoughtful contributions. We love it when someone points out something in a picture book...

Week in Review, November 2nd-6th

  This week on hbook.com... An Interview with MacArthur Fellow Jacqueline Woodson by Elissa Gershowitz, Monique Harris, Nicholl Denice Montgomery, and Dr. Kim Parker Cynthia Leitich Smith and Rosemary Brosnan Talk with Roger about HarperCollins's new imprint Heartdrum   From the November/December Horn Book Magazine: Writing as an Act of...

In the Woods

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We’ve already had a half dozen nature-themed books highlighted at Calling Caldecott, and there are at least that many still to come! Will In the Woods, a poetry collection exploring woodland life during the course of a year, be a stand-out in this impressive field? Veteran illustrator Rob Dunlavey has built his career...

Music for this moment

“If you see something that’s wrong, raise your hand and say that’s wrong Point it out and name that thing by its name Don’t stand by and stare — if it’s wrong, it’s your affair Don’t be quiet, make a riot, be a pain” --lyrics from Alastair Moock’s “Be a...

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...

A New Green Day

Before I had children, I had it all planned out. Thanks to my chosen occupation (children’s librarian), I already had a house filled with picture books of all kinds. I knew the literature. I knew which books would appeal to one age range or another. I was book-smart about children’s...

The Next President

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We all know you can throw a rock and hit a children’s book about presidents. They are everywhere. And they are necessary so that we can learn about (and learn from) our past. But not all nonfiction children’s books about presidents are created equal. When Kate Messner’s and Adam Rex’s...

Chips and chips

Over the weekend, we were inspired by Strange Birds to bake Aster's Chips [chocolate] & Chips [potato] Cookies. We've also made the Little Red Hen's Passover matzo. What recipes from a children's books have you been inspired to try?...

Writing as an Act of Defiance

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As the Vietnam War escalated in the late 1960s I marched and protested, raged and wept for our country and Vietnam. Fifty years later, we are living through another extraordinary, terrifying time. We’re being stalked by a pandemic, living under political strong-arming, in a deeply divided country. Our economy teeters...

An Interview with MacArthur Fellow Jacqueline Woodson

On October 19, 2020, Horn Book executive editor Elissa Gershowitz and Horn Book reviewers and contributors Monique Harris, Nicholl Denice Montgomery, and Dr. Kim Parker had a phone conversation with newly named MacArthur Fellow Jacqueline Woodson. Huge thanks to Moné Dixon, assistant to Jacqueline Woodson, and Edelman representative Amaya Starkey, for the...

Week in Review, October 26th-30th

  This week on hbook.com... Cecily Kaiser Talks with Roger about Penguin Worshop's new imprint RISE for children ages 0-5   2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards coverage for Picture Book week: October 26: Picture Book Honor Book Birdsong October 27: Picture Book Honor Book Pokko and the Drum October 28:...

A Note from Me (Oct 30, 2020)

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Dear friends: Our Boston Globe-Horn Book celebration came to an end this week, but go ahead and treat yourself to the panoply of interviews and selfies provided by our winners. God bless ’em, and may next October find us live once again at Simmons with all the winners and guests, whomever...

CaldeComics 2021, Part Two

Today on Calling Caldecott, Niki Marion writes about two more 2020 graphic novels. Read her earlier CaldeComics post here.   When we talk about the Caldecott Medal, we often assume that because the award recognizes “the most distinguished picture book for children,” the winner must be a picture book in the traditional...

Bundles of joy

We’re pleased to introduce Book Bundles on the Guide/Reviews Database. Each week we post a short list of recommended new books, mainly nonfiction for all ages. The books may share a theme or subject matter or age level or author -- every week brings a new bundle of book joy to...

Table of Contents: November/December 2020 Horn Book Magazine

Cover from Once upon a Winter Day. © 2020 by Liza Woodruff. Published by Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House.   Features Writing as an Act of Defiance by Elizabeth Partridge Interrogating prevailing narratives about — and during — unprecedented times. A Call to Action by Paula Chase, Cheryl Willis Hudson, Wade...

Cecily Kaiser 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   When Penguin Workshop sent me a clutch of books from their new RISE imprint in preparation for this interview with Cecily Kaiser, Director of Preschool Publishing and Publishing Director...

Editorial: Living History (November/December 2020)

The problem with the November/December issue is that it comes out a little too early. Looking back at the 2016 editorial co-written by Martha Parravano and me: “At the time of this writing, we don’t yet know the outcome of the presidential election. (Anyone with a time-travel device, please let...

Outside In

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Cindy Derby’s illustrations in Outside In, written by Deborah Underwood, were made with watercolor and powdered graphite on cold press paper—and, per the copyright page, “some of the lines were created with dried flower stems and thread soaked in ink.” It’s a perfect example of the book’s theme: that nature...

Oh, Marilla!

My ten-year-old and I have been having a grand old time reading aloud Anne of Green Gables at bedtime. Himself a rather high-spirited, rambunctious, and imaginative child, my kid LOL’d at the liniment in the cake scene, the drunk Diana debacle, Gilbert Blythe’s near-fatal “carrots” error, and even the puffed sleeves...

CaldeComics 2021, Part One

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Today on Calling Caldecott, Niki Marion writes about three 2020 graphic novels. She will contribute a second graphic novel round-up post later this week. —J.D. Every year the ALA Youth Media Awards roll around, and every year I’m a touch disappointed not to see more graphic novels among the various award...

Week in Review, October 19th-23rd

  This week on hbook.com...   2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards coverage for Nonfiction week: October 19: Field Notes: Teaching Infinite Hope by Dean Schneider (from the September/October Horn Book Magazine) October 20: Nonfiction Honor Book Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir October 21: Nonfiction Honor Book It Began with a Page:...

A Note from Me (Oct 23, 2020)

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Dear friends: Why can’t I just have Barbara Cook write these for me? We remain in the thick of our 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards festivities. We are just concluding nonfiction week, with picture book to come beginning Monday. (That is also my birthday!) Thank you again to the Horn...

You Matter

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I have a confession to make. I am generally not a fan of the all-too-earnest, self-esteem-building “concept” picture book. I could explain why, but then we’d have to consult my therapist and we’d be taking precious time away from discussing this book. Which I love. Truly. Christian Robinson’s You Matter...

The Camping Trip

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“People in cities don’t understand / falling in love with the land.” So goes a line from one of my favorite Girl Scout songs, “Moon on the Meadow.” Jennifer K. Mann’s picture book The Camping Trip takes protagonist and narrator Ernestine from being one of those “people in cities” to getting her first taste...

R.I.P. Jill Paton Walsh

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We're sad to have lost Jill Paton Walsh yesterday. I only met her once, at a 1990s CLNE gathering at Radcliffe, but Jill was a longtime friend of the Horn Book dating back to the 1970s, when Paul and Ethel Heins were running things here, and they and Jill and...

Field Notes: Teaching Infinite Hope

Ashley Bryan’s Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace won the 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Nonfiction and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award — but as a teacher, children’s literature aficionado, and friend of Ashley’s, I’ve known the book was special for...

Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story

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I often say that a nonfiction picture book for children is the best introduction to a new subject for readers of any age, especially when the illustrations are as richly informative as the text, and that is true for me about great horned owls and Maria Gianferrari’s Whoo-Ku Haiku: A...

Week in Review, October 12th-16th

  This week on hbook.com... October Notes from the Horn Book Newsletter: 5Qs for Grace Lin about her Storytelling Math board book series, fiction and nonfiction picture books about our ever-changing weather and seasons, lighthearted supernatural stories for middle-graders and middle-schoolers, and YA ghosts and demons   2020 Boston Globe-Horn...

A Note from Me (Oct 16, 2020)

Dear friends: Congratulations to Jacqueline Woodson on winning everybody’s favorite fantasy prize, a MacArthur fellowship. This pairs very well with the Hans Christian Andersen Award Jackie picked up earlier this year; congratulations for both! In Jackie’s honor I direct you to her 2006 Zena Sutherland Lecture, “How Do I Come...

My Best Friend

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I admit it -- I am a proponent of picture books aimed at the very young, and I am aware that these books don’t often garner Caldecott recognition. But they deserve our attention.  So here's one: My Best Friend, written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki. It's the story of...

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

Five questions for Grace Lin Circle! Sphere!; The Last Marshmallow; Up to My Knees!; What Will Fit? [Storytelling Math] by Grace Lin, illus. by the author; Charlesbridge. Ever-changing weather and seasons If Winter Comes, Tell It I'm Not Here by Simona Ciraolo, illus. by the author; Candlewick. The Weather's Bet...

From the Editor - October 2020

We hope you’ve been enjoying attending our first-ever virtual Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, with coverage of this year’s BGHB winners — videos, interviews, articles, and more — each week in October. It’s all archived, and everything is free — find the full schedule here. In this issue of Notes and...

YA ghosts and demons

Ghosts, demons, and hauntings — both metaphorical and spiritual — inhabit these eerie and atmospheric YA titles. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    480 pp.    g 6/20    978-0-06-289149-5    $18.99 This tale, first in a West African–inspired duology, is narrated in the...

Ever-changing weather and seasons

October in New England can be changeable. (Coats over costumes? This year stay home.) Similar to Grace Lin’s four season-themed Storytelling Math series of board books, these fiction and nonfiction picture books explore weather and seasons in entertaining, accessible, informative ways. If Winter Comes, Tell It I’m Not Here by...

Five questions for Grace Lin

Caldecott (for A Big Mooncake for Little Star in 2019), Newbery (for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon in 2010), and Geisel (for Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! in 2011) honoree Grace Lin’s new Storytelling Math board book series (Charlesbridge, 3-5 years) fulfills both parts of its name:...

Lighthearted supernatural stories

The following books should appeal to middle-graders and middle-schoolers who prefer their supernatural thrills with a side of humor. The Weird in the Wilds [Tales of Triumph and Disaster!] by Deb Caletti; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Putnam    272 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-9848-1308-4    $13.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-1309-1    $8.99...

We Are Water Protectors

I simply cannot get enough of We Are Water Protectors. It stands out among the books published this year for its importance in our shared culture and for its elegant beauty. Before I ever saw the book, I saw an illustration from one of its pages — the image of...

Indigenous Peoples' Day 2020

It’s Indigenous Peoples' Day! We urge you — today and all year — to seek out and share books respectfully representing indigenous North American peoples and cultures. For an extensive resource by a cultural insider and a children’s literature scholar, please visit Dr. Debbie Reese’s website American Indians in Children’s Literature (and in particular...

Week in Review, October 5th-9th

  This week on hbook.com... Katie Yamasaki Talks with Roger about Everything Naomi Loved   2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards coverage for Welcome week: October 5: Welcome to BGHB 2020 by Horn Book editor in chief, Roger Sutton October 6: My Favorite BGHB Winner October 7: BGHB at 50 (from...

A Note from Me (Oct 9, 2020)

Dear friends: Our 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book festivities have begun, and I was happy to see that our Fiction and Poetry winner King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender is now also a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award. BGHB’s weird calendar (June through May) puts it between normal...

Oil

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I love nonfiction picture books. I love books that educate our children and inspire them to social action and justice. And I love seeing the responses of children when I read these kinds of books aloud to them and they are moved to make changes in themselves, their community, and...

Preview November/December 2020 Horn Book Magazine

Cover art from Once upon a Winter Day by Liza Woodruff. Published by Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House. Elizabeth Partridge on writing as an act of defiance. A Call to Action from The Brown Bookshelf by Paula Chase, Cheryl Willis Hudson, Wade Hudson, Kelly Starling Lyons, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, and Renée Watson “to imagine a new way of doing business, and abandon anti-Black and...

Katie Yamasaki 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 Norton Young Readers, an imprint of W. W. Norton & Company   In Katie Yamasaki’s latest picture book (co-written with Ian Lendler), Naomi’s home on 11th Street is changing, but...

A Year Without Page Turns

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Those of you who read Calling Caldecott may have seen some think pieces this year about what it has been like to read and review books during 2020. Because of the pandemic, publishers (generally speaking) have been distributing digital copies of books to review publications and their reviewers. Vicky Smith of...

Happy Anniversary: His Dark Materials

2020 marks two milestones for Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy: the twenty-fifth anniversary of the UK publication of its first volume, Northern Lights (published a year later in the United States as The Golden Compass); and the twentieth anniversary of the international publication of the third, The Amber Spyglass...

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

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According to National Geographic, the average size of a worker honeybee is between 0.4 to 0.6 inches. And yet this little critter serves a mighty role in the food chain. Some humans may view bees as a pest, but we depend on honeybee pollination for many of the foods we...

Week in Review, September 28th-October 2nd

  This week on hbook.com... Jonathan Auxier Talks with Roger about How We Got to the Moon   From the September/October Horn Book Magazine: Publishers' Previews: Fall 2020 - Five Questions for... Amanda McCrina | Jan Thomas | Saadia Faruqi | Nic Stone | James Patterson & Kwame Alexander  ...

Sukkot 2020

Sukkot starts tonight! This year, outdoor-ish dining in a sukkah, a temporary outdoor booth with a plant-based roof, feels extra-fashionable (though maybe this isn’t the year to invite a crowd). Whether you’re an old hand or feel like you don’t know your schach from your etrog, here are some books from...

Publishers' Preview: Fall 2020: Five Questions for Nic Stone

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 Addressed to the...

A Note from Me (Oct 2, 2020)

Dear friends: SUCH a senior moment, and one very much of our times, just now. I wandered into the kitchen for coffee (black, cold, neat) where Richard was seated at the table in front of his laptop, which was talking. This is the usual way of things lately — earlier...

Hike

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Now that I’m living closer to my family, I have the advantage of a built-in picturebook audience in my nieces and nephew. Luckily enough, I was hanging out with my youngest niece when I received Hike by Pete Oswald. Since she loves books, she was eager for me to read it...

Virtual Boston Book Festival 2020

The Boston Book Festival and the Horn Book go way back. Since the festival began in 2009, the Horn Book has looked forward to our very favorite panel-going, booth-sitting, fresh-autumn-air-breathing, grilled-cheese-eating, Dunkin-drinking day. This year the BBF is going virtual, and the kids' and YA lineups are exceptional. Zetta Elliott; Jerry...

Publishers' Preview: Fall 2020: Five Questions for James Patterson & Kwame Alexander

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 Two popular writers...

Banned Books Week 2020

It’s Banned Books Week! From The American Library Association’s website: “Every year, the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles a list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The lists are based on information from media stories and...

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

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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...

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...

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

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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...

Week in Review, September 21st-25th

  This week on hbook.com... John Rocco Talks with Roger about How We Got to the Moon   From the September/October Horn Book Magazine: In Memoriam: Lee Kingman Natti (1919–2020) by Lolly Robinson   Read Roger: A Note from Me (Sep 25, 2020)   Calling Caldecott: The Old Truck by...

Yom Kippur 2020/5781

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, begins Sunday evening, September 27, at sundown. Following Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, these are times for family, community, and self-reflection. The following books could be useful for sharing with children and/or for generating discussions. All reviews are from the Guide/Reviews Database. For...

Black Is a Rainbow Color

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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)

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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...
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