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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)

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

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

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

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...

COVID-19 is like dental implants...

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

John Rocco Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   Because I’d only seen a PDF of How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure (Crown), I didn’t know...

Overground Railroad

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

In Memoriam: Lee Kingman Natti (1919–2020)

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

The Old Truck

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

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)

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

Week in Review, September 14th-18th

  This week on hbook.com... Daniel Kraus Talks with Roger about They Threw Us Away   From the September/October Horn Book Magazine: Children's Books and Contradictions by Emma Otheguy   Read Roger: A Note from Me (Sep 18, 2020)   Calling Caldecott: Let's Do This! by Julie Danielson A Conversation...

Rosh Hashanah 2020

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

The Books My Parents Read to Me

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

A Note from Me (Sep 18, 2020)

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

A Conversation with Kadir Nelson

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

National Hispanic Heritage Latinx Heritage Month 2020

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

Daniel Kraus Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   In They Threw Us Away, book one of Daniel Kraus’s new middle-grade trilogy the Teddies Saga, five little teddy bears find themselves in a big bad world (ours) and,...

Let's Do This!

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

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

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

Children's Books and Contradictions

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

Week in Review, September 7th-11th

  This week on hbook.com... September Notes from the Horn Book Newsletter: 5Qs for Evette Dionne about Lifting as We Climb, nonfiction books for middle school and YA readers about people making a difference tackling important social issues, stories about siblings for middle-grade readers, and books for primary readers starring...

A Note from Me (Sep 11, 2020)

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

Calling Caldecott 2021

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

Traci Chee Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   Fantasy writer Traci Chee moves to historical fiction in We Are Not Free, a kaleidoscopic look — fourteen narrators! — at the lives of young Japanese Americans “relocated” (incarcerated)...

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

Five questions for Evette Dionne Lifting as We Climb: Black Women's Battle for the Ballot Box by Evette Dionne, Viking. Be a changemaker Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights by Karen Blumenthal; Roaring Brook. Ms. Gloria Steinem: A Life by Winifred Conkling; Feiwel....

From the Editor - September 2020

The lyric “You can’t live with ’em, you can’t live without ’em” from The Muppet Movie got stuck in my head last week as I was working on our siblings section for this month’s Notes. Perhaps it was my subconscious’s way of telling me something (though my older sister and...

Animal friends (and frenemies)

Last week we highlighted the fiftieth anniversary edition of Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad Are Friends, a book which arguably introduced one of the most famous animal pairings in children’s literature. The following five recent offerings for primary readers (and “What (Exactly) IS an Easy Reader?” anyway?) continue in that...

Siblings: You can’t live with ’em, you can’t live without ’em

The relatable main characters in these five recent novels for middle-grade readers learn that siblings can go on magical adventures together, look after each other, provide inspiration, serve as unlikely allies, help one another find their place, and so much more. Check out the siblings tag on our website for...

Be a changemaker

In addition to the Black women suffragists whom Evette Dionne spotlights in Lifting as We Climb, history is filled with people making a difference tackling important social issues by bringing awareness and/or being an activist. Here are six such nonfiction stories for middle school and teen readers. Jane Against the...

Five questions for Evette Dionne

Last month, in recognition of the Nineteenth Amendment’s centennial, we featured Lifting as We Climb (Viking, 12 years and up) by Evette Dionne among other books about women’s suffrage. The subtitle of Dionne’s book, however, focuses readers’ attention on a very specific, vital, and too-frequently overlooked — and/or whitewashed —...

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

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

Week in Review, August 31st-September 4th

  This week on hbook.com...   From the September/October Horn Book Magazine: Table of Contents Editorial: Effin' Jeez by Roger Sutton   Read Roger: A Note from Me (Sep 4, 2020)   Family Reading: Drawing Comfort from Shared Reading by Megan Dowd Lambert Carrots, carrots by Elissa Gershowitz   Reviews...

A Note from Me (Sep 4, 2020)

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

Carrots, carrots

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

Drawing Comfort from Shared Reading

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

Editorial: Effin' Jeez (September/October 2020)

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

Table of Contents: September/October 2020 Horn Book Magazine

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

Week in Review, August 24th-28th

  This week on hbook.com... Trudy Ludwig Talks with Roger about The Power of One   From the July/August Horn Book Magazine: Publishers' Previews: Debut Authors - Five Questions for... Kim Johnson | Lynnette Mawhinney | Julie Lee   From the September/October Horn Book Magazine: The Writer's Page: "At the...

A Note from Me (Aug 28, 2020)

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

Trudy Ludwig Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   “Sometimes One can feel like a small and lonely number” according to The Power of One, but it’s also the place where everything starts. As Ludwig discusses the power...

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

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

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

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Sora has always...

Five-plus months in...

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

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

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Being a member...

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

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by In This Is...

Week in Review, August 17th-21st

  This week on hbook.com...   From the July/August Horn Book Magazine: Publishers' Previews: Debut Authors - Five Questions for... Seamus Kirst | Aiden Thomas | Tessa Allen   Read Roger: A Note from Me (August 21, 2020)   Family Reading: Reading Together, Apart by Margo Bartlett A Case for...

I spy with my Warby Parker glasses...

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

A Note from Me (Aug 21, 2020)

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

A Case for Nonfiction

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

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

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Sometimes People March,...

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

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by In Cemetery Boys,...

Suffrage Centennial 1920-2020

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

Reading Together, Apart

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

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

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Papa, Daddy, &...

Week in Review, August 10th-14th

  This week on hbook.com... August Notes from the Horn Book Newsletter - Back-to-School Edition: 5Qs for Ryan T. Higgins about We Will Rock Our Classmates, picture books to entertain and enlighten readers learning at school or virtually this fall, school-set stories of middle-graders/middle-schoolers dealing with challenges, and YA stories...

A Note from Me (August 14, 2020)

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

Preview September/October 2020 Horn Book Magazine

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

Veep 2020

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