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CaldeGeisel 2020

Last year the Guessing Geisel co-host team was thrilled to make a visit to Calling Caldecott to discuss the crossover appeal of Emily Tetri’s Tiger vs. Nightmare. Although the title didn’t quite snag a crossover win, it did take home a Geisel Honor. Not too shabby! This year we’re once again...

Owl Moon takes flight again

Editor Patti Gauch has asked me to tell you all about an upcoming event. On October 16th, Patti, along with Heidi Stemple, Judy Schoenherr, and Nanette Stevenson will discuss with Jane Yolen her durable 1987 picture book Owl Moon. Patti was the editor, Heidi the inspiration, Judy the widow of the...

A Conversation with Sophie Blackall

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Sophie Blackall is the author-illustrator of Hello Lighthouse, winner of the 2019 Randolph Caldecott Medal. Julie Danielson interviewed her by email for Calling Caldecott.   Calling Caldecott: Last year, we asked the Caldecott Medalist where he keeps his medal (it is beside his daughter's Ren Faire fist, no less), but where...

Black Kids Camp, Too...Don't They?: Embracing "Wildness" in Picture Books

My mother was a Girl Scout leader, my father was a Boy Scout leader, and my brother was a Tiger Cub in the Boy Scouts. Practically from the time I could walk, I tagged along with family to scout meetings and events. When I became a Girl Scout, and eventually...

Books mentioned in the September 2019 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Raina Telgemeier Guts by Raina Telgemeier, color by Braden Lamb, Scholastic/Graphix, 9–12 years. Smile by Raina Telgemeier, color by Stephanie Yue, Scholastic/Graphix, 9–12 years. Sisters by Raina Telgemeier, color by Braden Lamb, Scholastic/Graphix, 9–12 years. School-set graphic novels Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai, Holt, 8–11...

From the Editor - September 2019

The September/October issue of The Horn Book Magazine takes an unusually practical turn for us, with how-to articles about facilitating effective book discussions, sharing books with refugees and developmentally disabled children, and producing readers' theater in the classroom as well as a call for more black faces in books about nature and the outdoors. Plus, Cathie Mercier and I remember our great friend and colleague Susan Bloom. Please...

Five questions for Raina Telgemeier

Guts is the latest graphic memoir from Raina Telgemeier, whose previous titles — Smile and Sisters (all Scholastic/Graphix, 9–12 years) — blazed a path for middle-grade confessional nonfiction in comics form. This story, which takes place during her fifth-grade year, focuses on childhood anxiety and chronicles young Raina's difficulties with...

YA anthologies and you

Four recent anthologies that celebrate racial, cultural, and religious identities (among others) help address the need for teens to see both themselves — and a spectrum of their peers — represented on shelves.  In Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America, compiler Ibi Zoboi presents seventeen short stories by an impressive collection...

New year, new possibilities

Starting a new school year—and especially starting school, period—can be nerve-wracking, but it also presents opportunities for new friendships and experiences. These lighthearted picture books validate first-day worries while also celebrating this significant moment.    In The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, vignettes follow a boy through his first day of big-kid school. Dubbed the "King of Kindergarten" by his mother, the...

School-set graphic novels

The following graphic- and illustrated novels for middle graders and middle schoolers, set in and around school, are great for those students eager to return — and those who may need a little coaxing to get back into the swing of things. See also in this issue our Five Questions...

Let's Dive In: The List Is Here

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We're here today with our list of 2020 Caldecott-eligible books. We’ve asked the books (and our guest bloggers) to don some scuba gear, because we’re going to take some deep dives here at the blog — humor me with my weak aquatic metaphor; I’m only on my first cup of...

Yes they SHOULD!

Shout-out to @evelynmaryw who said on Instagram that "They should give this to new parents." We wholeheartedly agree! ICYMI: here's our classic, tongue-in-cheek poster "Unlucky Arithmetic: Thirteen Ways to Raise a Nonreader" by Dean Schneider and Robin Smith. Click here to download...

It's That Time of Year Again

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Well, hello there! We here at Calling Caldecott are waving in your direction (which is to say many directions), welcoming fall — here in the South, anyway, we finally have a subtle chill in the air — and welcoming back our readers for a new season of looking at outstanding...

Harry, AGAIN?

It's funny to see the Catholics going after Harry Potter as he presented no particular challenge to the Church (I've also been rereading His Dark Materials, and there's something for the R.C.s to sink their teeth into). And, most oddly, why now? Sounds like the good Father got himself buttonholed by...

Editorial: My Friend Susan Bloom (September/October 2019)

I have my own version of the Anthony Browne story Cathie Mercier tells on page 26 in commemorating her great colleague and friend Susan P. Bloom, who died on June 7th at the age of eighty. In my version, it is the summer of 1989 and I am at Boston's...

2018–2019 yearbook superlatives

Summer is winding down: the weather has turned cooler (sob!) and students are starting the new school year. Get into the back-to-school mood with our senior superlatives for characters in the "class" of 2018–2019. What superlative would you award your favorite character? Most musical: Bri Jackson, On the Come Up;...

Table of Contents: September/October 2019 Horn Book Magazine

Cover art from Click, Clack, Boo! Illustration © 2013 by Betsy Lewin. Features  "Considering the Criteria" by Vicky Smith   "Black Kids Camp, Too…Don't They?" by Michelle H. Martin   Columns    Editorial "My Friend Susan Bloom" by Roger Sutton   Happy Anniversary "It's Perfectly Normal" by Kitty Flynn  ...

Danbury Library visit

It was fun visiting my hometown library, the Danbury (CT) Public Library, the other week, and getting to chat with longtime junior services librarian Christine Furlo, young adult services librarian Deirdre Johnson (a Simmons alum!), and assistant director Katharine Chung (who let my kid take two peppermints, one for his...

Happy Anniversary: Number the Stars

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Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1989. It won the Newbery Medal in 1990 and celebrates its thirtieth anniversary in 2019.    Thirty years after its publication, Number the Stars by Lois Lowry remains one of the best literary introductions to the Holocaust for children....

Week in Review, August 19th - 23rd

This week on hbook.com...   Reviews of the Week: Picture Book: Cyril and Pat by Emily Gravett Fiction: Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers by Celia C. Pérez Nonfiction: Hummingbird by Nicola Davies; illus. by Jane Ray Audiobook: Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary Schmidt; read by Christopher...

"First Day of School"

"First Day of School" was the subject line of an email I got from my dad today. Given that my younger brother and I have been out of school for *cough cough* years, this could only mean...Puppy Preschool! My parents' four-month-old dachshund puppy, Lilly, started "school" yesterday. Here she is,...

New HB Guide Online reviews August 2019

Here we are again! We’ve just added close to 200 new reviews to the revamped Horn Book Guide Online. In fact, you can now expect updates to this super-spiffy review database every month going forward (as opposed to every other month on the old site). And, as we add reviews each...

Pocketful of memories

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Yesterday, a friend posted a link to fabric artist Salley Mavor’s blog where Salley revisits a 2012 post on her process of creating the eye-popping three-dimensional cover art for The Horn Book Magazine’s January/February 2012 issue. Salley’s book Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes had won the 2011...

Let Struggling Readers Read What They Want

I worked as a tutor for over five years, helping students learn to decode words and comprehend what they read. Many of the students fell either on the dyslexic or autistic spectrums, and all had dealt with difficulty and discouragement with reading in the past. This meant I regularly faced...

Car Books -- Help!

Real question: with a longish car trip coming up before the end of summer, how do people "organize" their books and other kid-media? Or does everyone's car look like this?...

Week in Review, August 12th - 16th

This week on hbook.com... August Notes from the Horn Book newsletter: 5Q for George Takei on They Called Us Enemy, more books about Japanese internment, picture books about things that go, nonfiction about amazing animals August Back-to-School edition of The Horn Book Herald: 5Q for Celia C. Pérez on Strange...

August 2019 Horn Book Herald: Back-to-School Edition

Welcome to our back-to-school issue of The Horn Book Herald, in which we chat with Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers author Celia C. Pérez, recommend new books for students of all ages as well as essential reading for parents and teachers, and take a break from the...

Five questions for Celia C. Pérez

In Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers (Kokila/Penguin, 9–12 years), author Celia C. Pérez's follow-up to her 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book honoree The First Rule of Punk (Viking, 9–12 years), four oddball friends band together to fight injustice and solve a historical mystery. It's like Stand by Me...

Five questions for The Blue Club

High schooler Kash Jain (oldest son of my former coworker Navin "nuvs" Jain) recently founded the political action website The Blue Club. "Voice. Action. Progress" reads the site's tagline, and Kash, alongside this team of likeminded teens, has very specific, concrete, and actionable ways for young people to stay informed...

Books mentioned in the August 2019 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for George Takei They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, and Steven Scott, illus. by Harmony Becker, Top Shelf, 12 years and up. Japanese internment Enemy Child: The Story of Norman Mineta, a Boy Imprisoned in a Japanese American Internment Camp During World War II by...

From the Editor - August 2019

Back to SCHOOL? Already? Sheesh. You still have time to take some of our summer reading suggestions* and on Friday we will be bringing you — yup — the back-to-school issue of The Horn Book Herald with recommendations, survival tips, and an interview with Celia C. Pérez about her new...

Amazing animals

These approachable science books introduce primary and intermediate readers to two extraordinary animals, one species' survival story, and the everyday dynamics between predator and prey. Inky's Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home tells how a real octopus was caught in a Pacific Ocean lobster trap...

Five questions for George Takei

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He's gone to the stars and back via the starship Enterprise as Hikaru Sulu on the classic television show Star Trek. With an influential social media presence, he's a passionate advocate and activist for social justice and LGBTQ rights. He's the author of several books for adults. Now George Takei...

Fueling imagination

These recent picture books for preschool- and primary-age children celebrate "things that go" as a vehicle (heh) for daydreaming and imaginative play. It's "a fine evening for a drive," and Annie, protagonist of Vroom! by Barbara McClintock, has a plan — and a big imagination. In her sleek racing car, Annie...

Japanese internment

In his comics-format memoir They Called Us Enemy (Top Shelf, 12 years and up), actor and activist George Takei describes his childhood years in two Japanese American internment camps during World War II (read our Five Questions interview with Takei here). The following books, both nonfiction and fiction (YA and...

Week in Review, July 29th–August 2nd

This week on hbook.com...   Starred reviews coming in the September/October 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine Obituary: Toni Morrison (1931-2019) From the May/June 2019 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: The CSK Book Awards at 50: Lift Every Voice: "Side B" by Michele Wood   Reviews of the Week:...

R.I.P. Lee Bennett Hopkins

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I was sorry to hear about the death this morning of Lee Bennett Hopkins. With his own work, his anthologies, and his nurturing of new poets, is there anyone who has done more for American children's poetry than Lee? A fuller appreciation of Lee's achievements will follow, but today I...

Madeline at 80

Ludwig Bemelmans's Madeline turns eighty this year. Instantly identifiable, the character of Madeline is an iconic prototype for picture-book and chapter-book heroes who follows different drummers, always testing boundaries and returning home safely. After Madeline's 1939 publication, Bemelmans published several companion books; other works developed from manuscripts were published after...

Letter to the Editor from Lee Bennett Hopkins, July/August 1990

July/August 1990 Horn Book To the Editor, It is a fact: Eloise Greenfield is the only Black writer of children’s poetry currently being published in the United States; her latest volume, Nathaniel Talking (Black Butterfly Children’s Books), appeared in 1989. It seems quite incredible that, with over four thousand books...

Toni Morrison (1931-2019)

Toni Morrison (1931-2019) passed away this week at the age of eighty-eight. A superlative writer for adults, Morrison also co-wrote several children's books with her son, the late Slade Morrison. Her time as an editor came up earlier this year while we were working on the CSK Book Awards special...

2019 Children's Literature Summer Institute follow-up

From July 25rd to the 28th, I had the honor of attending my first Children’s Literature Summer Institute at Simmons University. As a graduate student at Simmons, I enrolled in the two-week summer course tied to the institute, taught by this year's Carol S. Kline Visiting Professor, Eric Tribunella of...

Starred reviews, Horn Book Magazine, September-October 2019

Art from FIELD TRIP TO THE MOON   The following books will receive starred reviews in the September/October issue of The Horn Book Magazine. Field Trip to the Moon; written and illustrated by John Hare (Ferguson/Holiday). A Big Bed for Little Snow; written and illustrated by Grace Lin (Little, Brown). Double Bass Blues; by...

Lift Every Voice: Side B

When I was eight years old — you might say octave age — in 1971, I was a DJ playing a record, a single 45, in my bedroom. The song on vinyl I would play was side B of Michael Jackson’s “Got to Be There” — “Maria (You Were the...

Week in Review, July 29th–August 2nd

This week on hbook.com... Preview the September/October 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine   From the May/June 2019 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: The CSK Book Awards at 50: "Lift Every Voice: Thank You Gusty" by Floyd Cooper   Reviews of the Week: Picture Book: Puppy Truck by Brian...

Preview September/October 2019 Horn Book Magazine

Cover art from Click, Clack, Boo!: A Tricky Treat by Doreen Cronin, illustration copyright 2013 by Betsy Lewin.  Kirkus children’s editor Vicky Smith considers book discussion guidelines for the twenty-first century.  “Black Kids Camp Too…Don’t They?”: Michelle H. Martin on why #WeNeedDiverseOutdoorBooks.  Kitty Flynn wishes a happy twenty-fifth anniversary to Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley’s It’s Perfectly Normal.  Cathryn M. Mercier, director...

Happy Camping! Summer Camp Books

It's just about mid-summer for my kiddos, and I'm thankful for the Guide Goddesses' *new* summer-camp-themed booklists of chapter books, middle grade, and YA. A huge family favorite last year was Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol, and the Horn Book Guide lists promise some solid readalikes. We're also still working...

Happy birthday, Harry!

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Happy birthday to one of kidlit's most beloved and backlashed big-name characters, Harry Potter! (He'd be thirty-nine this year. Holy hippogriff.) The Horn Book has had a lot to say — good, bad, and damn, these books are long — about The Boy Who Lived over the years. Here's a...

Conference Report: 2019 Children's Literature Summer Institute at Simmons University: "Make Way"

This past weekend, Martha Parravano, Cynthia K. Ritter, and Shoshana Flax took turns attending “Make Way,” the 2019 Summer Children’s Literature Institute at Simmons University. Here are our (chronological) combined impressions from this weekend. Cindy: On Thursday night, Shoshana and I caught up over dinner with some of our Simmons...

Lift Every Voice: Thank You, Gusty

Funny thing is, I have never before shared this experience with anyone. It is most likely the event that had the most impact on the direction of my life. When I was young, my imagination was voracious. In the corner of one of the three rooms of our house (the...

Mmm...hummus

Or as we call it...YUM-mus. Eight people, five containers of hummus. You do the math....

Make Way for Simmons!

We welcome Simmons University's biannual Children's Literature Institute to campus today. This year's theme being "Make Way," the Institute begins tonight with Grace Lin and Alvina Ling in dialogue with and at Make Way for Dumplings: Twenty Years of the Art of Grace Lin exhibiting in the Trustman Gallery, fourth floor of the Main College...

Reviews added to the (new!) HB Guide Online July 2019

We’re excited to announce our first batch of new reviews since the launch of the new Horn Book Guide Online! Among the newly uploaded reviews in the database are excerpted Horn Book Magazine reviews, more titles from the Horn Book’s summer reading list, and the remaining 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book...

2019 Mind the Gap Awards: The books that didn't win at ALA

  Not all deserving books bring home ALA awards. The books that didn’t win.     Rained out     A Parade of Elephants by Kevin Henkes The Field by Baptiste Paul; illus. by Jacqueline Alcántara Water Land by Christy Hale       Singing the blues   They Say Blue...

Reviews of 2019 Mind the Gap Award winners

Not all deserving books bring home ALA awards. Our annual Mind the Gap Awards pay tribute to our favorite books that didn’t win. Here’s how we reviewed our 2019 winners.   A Parade of Elephants by Kevin Henkes; illus. by the author Preschool    Greenwillow    40 pp.    g 9/18    978-0-06-266827-1    $18.99...

What are YOU reading this summer?

What do you all do when you've finished one book and can't seem to settle on another? I finished Denise Mina's Conviction (started better than it got later, alas) and began Powers's The Overstory (it's too hot for that) and Philip Kerr's first Bernie Gunther book (inept metaphors) without either...

What the CSK Means to Me

I’m not a children’s librarian. I don’t even work in the children’s book field. But as an African American, an academic librarian, and a library and information science (LIS) administrator/educator, I have always known the importance of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. I began my professional career just about...

2018: The Year in Words and Pictures

Who are we? What kind of community are we going to be, do we want to be? These are the ever-more-urgent questions that were being asked — and answered — in 2018, not just by book award committees but also by professional organizations devoted to children’s books and reading, in discussions...

Celebrating America's Moon Landing

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s Apollo 11, the first space mission to land on the moon. (This Saturday, July 20th will be the anniversary of the actual moon landing and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's moon walk.) CBS, which broadcast the historic event live in...

Lift Every Voice: My Grandparents' House

As a child, I loved to visit my grandparents. Their home was very different from ours. My grandmother had purchased it late in life with her own money, she would proudly say. In the house were cherry-wood end tables with scalloped edges and leather insets, beautiful ornate ceramic peacocks that...

This is a test.

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Hello, all, this is my maiden post for our new website, and I hope I soon have something more interesting to say than "this is a test." But, this is a test. Isn't it fascinating?...

Lift Every Voice: History and Stories

In addition to this year being the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, it is also fifty years since I graduated from high school. My foundational education provided very few opportunities to read books by African American writers, either for school or pleasure. Interestingly,...

Make Way for Ashley! A Birthday Tribute

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A poem written on the occasion of Ashley Bryan's 96th birthday.   What a Morning! Sing to the Sun!  Walk Together Children! Uh-Huh! Uh-Huh!  Dancing Granny’s movin’ her feet.  It’s Ashley’s day! Flying-High sweet!    It’s been said that The Night Has Ears.  Now the story’s told — his birthday’s...

"Raising a Lifelong Reader" tips from PBS Kids

Eagled-eyed Horn Book Creative Director Lolly Robinson alerted us to this 2016 article, "Raising a Lifelong Reader: Tips for Reading with Your Child," by longtime Horn Book Guide reviewer Cyrisse Jaffe. Cyrisse is editorial project manager in the education department of WGBH, our local PBS station. My own children's love...

Social issues today

For today's activist teens who are engaging with tough issues in the world around them, here are four recent YA nonfiction titles (three print and one audiobook version) to provide further context and enhance understanding — and compassion. In Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience,...

From the Editor - July 2019

Last month I invited you to take a look at our new iteration of The Horn Book Guide, and now I ask you to visit the all-new Hbook.com, the Horn Book's home address on the internet. It is a work in progress — aren't we all? — but there is...

Books mentioned in the July 2019 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Kyle Lukoff When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lutkoff, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita, Lee & Low, 4–7 years. B is for babies You Are New by Lucy Knisley, Chronicle, 2–5 years. Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke, illus. by Angela Brooksbank, Candlewick, 2–5 years. B Is...

Five questions for Kyle Lukoff

School librarian Kyle Lukoff's heartfelt picture book When Aidan Became a Brother (illustrated by Kaylani Juanita; Lee & Low, 4–7 years) begins, "When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl" — perfectly encapsulating the disconnect many very young transgender/gender-creative kids feel. As his family prepares to welcome a...

More magic!

These sequels encourage intermediate and middle-school readers to return to favorite fantasy worlds…or to go back and start each series from the beginning. In Love Sugar Magic: A Sprinkle of Spirits, the second book set in and around the Logroño family's Amor y Azúcar Panaderia bakery, Leonora's friend Caroline tries...

B is for babies

Babies need good books, and so do their big siblings! Together, these warm and reassuring new picture books for preschool and primary-age children celebrate a baby's growth from in utero to first birthday. See also our Five Questions interview with Kyle Lukoff, author of When Aidan Became a Brother, in...

Lift Every Voice: In the Presence of Royalty

My heart was racing like Secretariat, even though I had practiced my acceptance speech, as I nervously approached the podium. They had called my name to receive the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for my work on The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth. The CSK Breakfast...

Lift Every Voice: History Comes Alive

It was an adult book — The Chaneysville Incident by David Bradley — that inspired me to try my hand at writing historical fiction for children. I’ll never forget the author’s harrowing description of one of the characters fleeing a pack of slave hunters. I have always been a history...

2019 CSK–Virginia Hamilton Award Acceptance by Pauletta Brown Bracy

Good Coretta-Scott-King-Book-Awards-Breakfast-Sunday morning! I stand before you as the fifth recipient of the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement in the category of practitioner and in the company of the distinguished colleagues who have come before me: Dr. Henrietta Mays Smith, Demetria Tucker, Deborah D. Taylor, and Dr....

Table of Contents: July/August 2019 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: ALA Awards

Features Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award Acceptance by Pauletta Brown Bracy "The Year in Words and Pictures" by Elissa Gershowitz and Martha V. Parravano Newbery Medal Acceptance by Meg Medina A profile of Meg Medina by R. J. Palacio   CSK Author Award Acceptance by Claire Hartfield A profile of Claire...

Editorial: Try to Remember (July/August 2019)

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Thank goodness the inclusion of the 2019 ALA awards speeches in this issue allows me to talk about the Coretta Scott King Book Awards again (see our just-previous May/June issue celebrating the CSK’s fiftieth anniversary). Congratulations to all the winners, as well as to those receiving Legacy, Newbery, and Caldecott...

Week in Review, June 24th - 28th

This week on hbook.com... From the July/August 2019 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: ALA Awards: Children’s Literature Legacy Award acceptance by Christopher Myers on behalf of Walter Dean Myers Newbery Medal acceptance by Meg Medina and profile by R. J. Palacio Caldecott Medal acceptance by Sophie Blackall and profile by...

My ALA 2019

My ALA began on Friday afternoon with a lunch hosted by Holiday House for their O'Dell Award winner Lesa Cline-Ransome, for Finding Langston. She's a Malden girl! So we two townies had a blast with back-in-the-day. Lesa's husband James and I discussed sartorial choices for that evening's Event, the CSK...

"WE ARE HERE": queer books beyond subtext

Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City, an event that laid the groundwork for the first Gay Pride parade and celebrations that have evolved into a month-long recognition of LGBTQ+ identities and communities.During my 1990s childhood in a pervasively conservative, Christian, Southern environment, I...

2019 CSK Illustrator Award Acceptance by Ekua Holmes

Ekua Holmes. Photo courtesy of Ekua Holmes.Congratulations to all of the 2019 awardees on the podium today. Along with you, I am deeply honored to receive this award, on its fiftieth anniversary, given in the name of Coretta Scott King — a woman whom I deeply admire for her work...

Profile of 2019 CSK Illustrator Award winner Ekua Holmes

Ekua Holmes is love. I am but one grateful member of an immense and inspired community that cherishes, and is beloved by, Ekua. At its heart, this community is local, centered on the place of Ekua’s birth — Roxbury, Massachusetts — via Arkansas and the U.S. American South, via Africa....

Louise Payson Latimer: Pioneer of Library Service to Children in Washington, DC

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Portrait of Louise Latimer, 1914, painted by Suzanne Warriner Most children’s book connoisseurs have heard of New York Public Library’s Anne Carroll Moore, if only for her outspoken opinions on what was not good literature (including E. B. White’s Stuart Little). Many know of Boston Public Library’s Alice M. Jordan,...

2019 CSK Author Award Acceptance by Claire Hartfield

When I was a young girl, growing up on the South Side of Chicago, I was lucky enough to have weekly visits with my grandmother, Thelma Shepherd Rone, whom the adults called Dearest or Day but whom I always knew as Grammie. I was a quiet little girl, but I...

Profile of 2019 CSK Author Award winner Claire Hartfield

Claire Hartfield is a storyteller. It might be fair to say that she is a born storyteller, just-right words flowing through her pen with ease, creating images that allow her readers to see, to hear, even to breathe just as Claire did while writing. This gift might have come to...

ALA in D.C.

I'll be reporting tomorrow about My ALA but in the meantime wanted to make sure you knew we have posted the acceptance speeches and profiles of the Caldecott, Newbery, and Legacy winners, which together appear in print in the Horn Book Magazine issue being held by Carol Merrill seated to...

2019 Caldecott Medal Acceptance by Sophie Blackall

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Hello, hello, hello!Members of the 2019 Caldecott committee, my agents, my family, fellow authors and illustrators, publishers, librarians, beacons of the community—As the 2019 Caldecott committee gathered around a phone, early on a cold January morning in Seattle, I was having dinner in sweltering Myanmar, trying not to picture them....

Apply for a fall Horn Book internship + meet intern Katie!

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 “gazillion...

Hello Studio: A Profile of 2019 Caldecott Medal winner Sophie Blackall

On the highest floor of an old factory at the edge of Brooklyn, overlooking the water, is a skylit artists’ studio. This profile is drawn from interviews with the seven children’s book creators who, over the years, have shared that studio with Sophie Blackall.“Drawn in Brooklyn,” 2010 Photo: Matt Carr.Sergio...

2019 Newbery Medal Acceptance by Meg Medina

Photo: Petite Shards Productions.Good evening. Muy buenas noches.I’m so happy to be with all of you here tonight, and to share this incredible moment on stage with Sophie [Blackall] and to help honor the enormous legacy of Walter Dean Myers. My deepest congratulations to all the winners and honorees of...

Profile of 2019 Newbery Medal winner Meg Medina

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Meg Medina and R. J. Palacio at Niagara Falls, circa 1979. Photo: Marco Jaramillo.Imagine a girl, wavy brown hair, big smile, bright eyes, on the tall side, long legs and arms, in constant motion. (If she were a baby animal, she’d be a colt.) Imagine this girl is your best...

2019 Children’s Literature Legacy Award Acceptance by Christopher Myers on behalf of Walter Dean Myers

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Hey Pop,It’s been a minute since I’ve written you a proper letter, mostly because I don’t know your address or even if they have email wherever you are.When you were around, we’d write each other lots of letters, even if we knew we’d be meeting up for breakfast the next...

Lift Every Voice: Seeing Stars

I’ve been marinating in childhood memories this past year as I worked to complete my upcoming memoir, Ordinary Hazards. Among the memories there were, as you might imagine, many moments that marked my path as a writer: my first poetry reading at Countee Cullen Library in Harlem, receiving my first...

Week in Review, June 17th - 21st

  This week on hbook.com... We're at ALA Annual this weekend! Visit booth #725 on Monday for a copy of the hot-off-the-presses July/August Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: ALA Awards, featuring Newbery, Caldecott, CSK, and Legacy acceptance speeches. From May/June 2019 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: The CSK Book Awards...

All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah near Santa Monica*: 2019 AJL annual conference recap

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This year’s Association of Jewish Libraries annual conference was held June 17th through 19th in Woodland Hills, CA. That’s in the Los Angeles area, near Topanga Canyon, lots of beaches, and plenty of other beautiful scenery. As a member of the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee, I was forced to attend.It’s...

#ALAAC19 Booth 725

Roger, Martha, and Elissa will be at ALA Annual #ALAAC19 in Washington, DC, this weekend. The Horn Book's booth is 725 -- please stop by. The swag is good. We'll have posters of 2019 Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall's July/August Horn Book Magazine cover (at right; hello, lighthouse!). On Monday morning...

Lift Every Voice: On My Fire Escape

The path leading to Ray Charles began on the fire escape of a rent-controlled apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant. It was here that I discovered Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Little Brown Baby, Shakespeare’s “Et tu, Brute?” and Willard Motley’s Knock on Any Door; scurried down a rabbit hole; and walked on Gwendolyn Brooks’s...

Think lovely thoughts

I'm off tomorrow for ALA in D.C. and am wondering if 20,000 librarians could accomplish what 1200 hippies could not. Otherwise you will find me mainly in the exhibit hall with Al while Martha and Elissa stalk the sessions. Our booth number is 725, and we will be giving away...

Lift Every Voice: "You Are the Author!"

Photo: Bill McGuinnessI can’t remember a time when I have not been drawing and painting!As a child I loved picture books and memorized Mother Goose poems. I attended public elementary school in the Bronx, New York. In kindergarten, the teacher taught us the alphabet. She asked the students to draw a picture...

Undercover Reading

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My daughter and her husband caught their six-year-old reading in bed after lights out and celebrated.Quietly, of course. They didn’t want her to know they’d seen her taking advantage of the fading daylight coming through her bedside window. Still, they managed to take a picture of her, surrounded by stuffed...

Fresh Ginger and Garlic: A Conversation with Nikki Giovanni

Kwame and Nikki. Photo: Beatrice Saba.Over the past twenty years, I’ve been a vegan, a vegetarian, and a pescatarian. There have been only three periods in my adult life when I’ve indulged in the pleasures of meat. One was right after winning the Newbery, when I found myself craving cheeseburgers....

Upcoming CSK gala -- ridiculous shoes

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I am so excited to attend the CSK Gala at the Library of Congress on Friday night during ALA, honoring the fiftieth anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. See the EMIERT website for more on "Coretta Scott King Book Awards: 50 Years Strong," and of course check out...

Week in Review, June 10th - 14th

  This week on hbook.com... Welcome to the newly revamped Horn Book Guide Online! June 2019 Notes from the Horn Book: 5Q for Mariko Tamaki, middle grade and YA for Pride Month, picture books for Father's Day, and easy-reader BFFs June 2019 Horn Book Herald: Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards Edition,...
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