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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...

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...

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...

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?...

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...

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...

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...

"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...

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...

Happy Father's Day 2019 from Family Reading

Happy Father's Day (on Sunday) to those who celebrate! Here are some articles, books, and links to make Dad (and Pop and Papi and Granddad and all others of any gender who hold that place in a child's life) feel loved and appreciated."Picture Books for Father's Day." From our brand-new-and-improved...

Good enough to eat, a.k.a. thank an art teacher

Today is National Doughnut Day. Moving beyond the editorial debate (donut v. doughnut) and the regional debate (Dunks v. Krispy Kreme v. Starbucks), I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage people to thank an art teacher. Ours is Mr. Wynn, and this hugely child-friendly project pictured above consisted of...

Happy Anniversary: Stevie

Stevie by John Steptoe (1950–1989) was published by Life magazine and then by Harper & Row in 1969. It celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2019.I locate the beginning of what I’ve come to call #blackboylit — literature for children and young adults that centers the experiences of boys of African...

The 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners...for families!

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Yesterday Roger announced the 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners, and they are GREAT! My youngest, age six, will be most drawn to the picture books, some of which he's already seen, some he hasn't. Picture Book Award winner The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke, illustrated by Van Thanh...

One of the choices

A couple of years ago, I had an idea for a blog post: a collection pictures I’d taken of my kids over time, having fallen asleep on books or with books next to them, asleep, in their beds. Gripping, right? Well, that post hasn’t come to pass...you’re welcome.Elissa’s post about...

2019 Summer Reading Recommendations

What could be better than icy-cold raspados on a hot summer day? Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña’s new picture book My Papi Has a Motorcycle has had us dreaming of shave ice since our Five Questions Summer Reading interview revealed their favorite flavors (limon for Zeke; for Isabel: “Strawberry and...

Summer Reading 2019: Five Questions for Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña

Author Isabel Quintero and illustrator Zeke Peña previously collaborated on 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Award–winning graphic novel Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide (Getty, 12 years and up). Now, in the summer-perfect picture book My Papi Has a Motorcycle (Kokila/Penguin, 5–8 years; concurrently published in Spanish as Mi papi...

Thank a teacher 2019

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 5–11), and we know we speak for most parents when we say how grateful we are for these vital members of our village. Teachers’ work on the front lines has a profound impact on our children — in small and big ways.Kitty’s fourth grader...

Two picture-book, read-alike suggestions for the new royal parents (it's a boy!)

His Royal Highness, King Baby: A Terrible True Storyby Sally Lloyd-Jones; illus. by David RobertsPrimary    Candlewick    48 pp.9/17    978-0-7636-9793-8    $16.99“Once upon a time, there was a Happy Family” consisting of a mother, father, daughter (shown with tights on her head simulating long, blonde, princess-y hair), and pet gerbil. Life was...

"Stop reading and get ready for school!"

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Weekday mornings can be fraught in my house, with two grouchy non-morning-person children getting ready for school and their, ahem, like-minded parents (genetics!) getting ready for work. When my oldest was an infant, I was worried he wouldn't like to read. Now he's nine, and in addition to being a...

2019 Summer Reading List

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For a handy take-along list of titles, download our printable PDF.Picture BooksSuggested grade level for all entries: PS–2The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol (Roaring Brook)The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke; illus. by Van Thanh Rudd (Candlewick)Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World by Christy Hale (Porter/Roaring Brook)Thank...

2019 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Middle School

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2018–2019 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.For a...

2019 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: High School

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2018–2019 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.For a...

2019 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Intermediate

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2018–2019 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.For a...

2019 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Easy Readers and Primary Grades

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2018–2019 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.For a...

2019 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Picture Books

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2018–2019 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.For a...

Peep show...or how, nevertheless, the Little Red Hen persisted

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Spring has sprung around Boston! Daffodils are blooming, birds are singing, and our library is hosting a “Peep Literary Diorama Exhibition.” This year, my family got in on the fun with our own entry.I’m using family and our loosely.I thought my kids would be excited about the idea of making...

National Siblings Day 2019

Today is National Siblings Day (here is mine; and the picture above is Roger's brother with his bloopah). Here are some booklists and articles that highlight "siblings doing what siblings do best." From Notes from the Horn Book: Sassy siblings From Notes from the Horn Book: Sibling rivalry From Notes...

Muslim Women's Day 2019

In honor of Muslim Women's Day, here is Julie Hakim Azzam's "Books in the Home" article: "'Mommy, Do I Have White Skin?': Skin Color, Family, and Picture Books," from the November/December 2016 Horn Book Magazine. See below for other ways to celebrate and amplify Muslim Women's voices during Women's History...

"Something's happening at the library!" in Portland, Maine

I was lucky enough to go on a moms'-overnight to Portland, Maine (with one of the travelers being this wonderful Horn Book contributor). Our hotel, which once housed the Portland Press Herald newspaper office and printing press (so cool!), featured newspaper-headline wallpaper; decorative typewriters everywhere; and printer rollers in the elevator....

It's a bookend! It's a snowball flinger!

Stop, you're both right! #WinterInNewEngland #LibraryKids...

Encouraging a natural critic

I’ve been writing reviews for The Horn Book Guide since 2005, long before my daughter was born in 2011. When I first started, the reviews were a hypothetical glimpse into what I thought would appeal to children. I was in and out of classrooms during those early years, sometimes sharing...

"The Truth of Capten Underpants!" (More fanfiction)

It's February vacation week in Massachusetts — hang on — didn't we just have a winter break? Why, yes, we did: Winter Break: The Aftermath. Elissa's post inspired me to pull out some of my favorite comics by one of my favorite comic creators, my nine-year-old son.His Captain Underpants–inspired fan...

A big place to run and play

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My husband recently took a picture of me reading to our five-year-old granddaughter. He takes such pictures often; his phone holds dozens of photos of our granddaughter and me behind a variety of books. On this occasion, he caught us at an exciting point of the narrative. My granddaughter's eyes...

We Need Diverse Books...in elementary schools

Am I the last person to know about the partnership between Scholastic Book Club and We Need Diverse Books? From what I can tell, the two organizations have been collaborating since 2015, though I'm pretty sure our school hasn't sent home any designated WNDB flyers until last month. Or maybe...

Winter Secrets

Winter can seem like a time when there isn’t much going on outside; in fact, the season offers opportunities to see things that are otherwise obscured by the growth and busyness of the other seasons. At our house in winter, for example, we can see through the skeletons of trees...

Winter break: The Aftermath

We are going through a Diary of a Wimpy Kid phase at my house, big-time (and thank you to the Cambridge Public Library for carrying a bajillion copies of many of the titles). Reading and re-reading those books was one of the things that kept us occupied over the winter...

"Love Your Neighbor" booklist series from the Association of Jewish Libraries

Following the October 2018 gun murders at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and in response to rising anti-Semitism in the United States, the Association of Jewish Libraries began compiling a series of themed booklists for children, families, and communities. The "Love Your Neighbor" series includes four lists:List #1...

Francie at Frugal

On Saturday, I went to Frugal Bookstore for Francie Latour's "Auntie Luce Holiday Book Event." Francie is the author of Auntie Luce's Talking Paintings, illustrated by Ken Daley (Groundwood), inspired by Haitian artist Luce Turnier (1924-1994). She's also one half of Wee The People (with Tanya Nixon-Silberg):Wee The People (WTP)...

On Kristin Cashore's "Different Drums: Embracing the Strange" (from 2013)

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Author Kristin Cashore’s “Different Drums: Embracing the Strange” appeared in the Magazine’s March/April 2013 special issue, “Different Drummers.” The short piece is her response to the Horn Book editors’ question, posed to a handful of authors, publishers, and critics: “What’s the strangest children’s book you’ve ever enjoyed?”Kristin’s answer? Moominsummer Madness...

Make a Circle

Children’s books are better today than they were when my own children were small. At least, I think they are. It’s possible that good books existed in the late- to mid-1970s and 1980s, and I lacked the leisure to find them on the shelves. Going to the library in those...

On Julie Luecke’s “Reading Along the Gender Continuum” (from 2012)

“The reality, however, is that many children are gender variant (with interests and behaviors persistently outside of typical cultural gender norms) and at different points in their lives might be living or exploring at various places along the gender identity continuum.”If there had been a Horn Book blog focused on...

Bearing witness

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“It is amazing that art could come from such unimaginable atrocity, that writers have found so many different forms — fiction, memoir, poetry, history, even comic strip — to bear witness. These authors have found a form to give voice to the unspeakable.” — Hazel RochmanI was planning to post...

Yes, kids CAN!

I am so in awe of the twenty-one young people, ages eleven to twenty-two, suing the Federal Government in order to recognize and address the looming crisis of climate change for a better future (or for even a future). The Juliana v. U.S. trial was set to begin next Monday,...

Halloween is happening!

Seven days and counting…You’ve got the costumes (made the costumes? kudos!); you've decorated the house with ghosts and ghouls; and you’ve got the candy (you’ll probably need to restock by next Wednesday night — let’s be real). Now gather some literary treats courtesy of Horn BOO! It's the Horn Book’s...

Jewish Books, Jewish Families

When I was growing up in the 1960s, my family had a book given to us by cousins who had outgrown children’s books. (There are people who do that!). What the Moon Brought by Sadie Rose Weilerstein, illustrated by Mathilda Keller, was first released in 1942 by the Jewish Publication...

Mitali Perkins at Belmont Books

I don't usually fangirl out (though, yes, when I do I go hard). In fact I can be downright mean about books! But last night Martha and I went to Belmont Books to see Mitali Perkins, author of one of my favorites from last year You Bring the Distant Near,...

Listen to kidlitwomen*

“We should be starting [to talk with kids about sexual harassment] before we think it’s going to happen rather than after.”  —Corey Ann Haydu, from the kidlitwomen* podcast, episode #25I love the kidlitwomen* podcast, and this week’s episodes (#24 On Writing, Sexual Harassment and Being an Example and #25 Conversation...

Books, Fresh and Juicy

Not long after I started toting library books to my grandchildren’s houses, one of my daughters gave me a gift: a sturdy canvas bag with wide handles and, on the side, a photograph of my three grandchildren and me reading.I treasure the bag, not just because of the photo, not...

Board Book Roundup: Treasure Hunting in the Public Library

The parents, caregivers, and babies who visit the main branch of my public library love board books. They eat them up — sometimes literally. We keep the books jumbled in a long wooden bin that sits low to the floor on a cozy rug. Pre-walkers use the bin’s edge to...

Rosh Hashanah 2018/5779

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Today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year (year 5779!); Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, begins next Tuesday, September 18, at sundown. These are times in the year for family, community, and self-reflection (and our thoughts are with Shoshana's family!). My family started a new, anachronistic "tradition" by making...

Grandparents Day 2018

Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 9. Here are some recent books for young readers and listeners about grandparents, grandchildren, and intergenerational friendships that celebrate the special bond between children and their elders. Reviews are from current or forthcoming issues of The Horn Book Guide.Brantley-Newton, Vanessa  Grandma's Purse32 pp. Knopf 2018...

On Jessica Angotti's "Committing the Crime Without Doing the Time" (from 2010)

“Based on my observations, it seems children find a loophole. Straddling reality and fantasy allows them to keep one foot in the story, dancing all night and getting into trouble, and the other one out, avoiding time-outs or bed without dinner. This hokey-pokey stance gives young readers the best of...

Gendered reading and audiobooks

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My daughter became a bookworm this year, reading middle grade novels by Carl Hiaasen, Kate Beasley, Robert Beatty, and Erin Entrada Kelly. She read before bed, and while eating breakfast and brushing her teeth. When she finished a book, she’d pass it along to me, and we’d discuss it. I...

Illustrators -- finally!

"Illustrators -- finally! Authors get all the credit for everything!" said my eight-year-old when I told him I was going to be spending time with a few.On Friday, July 27, I was invited to Shady Hill School in Cambridge, MA, by the incomparable Kim Parker [NB: every parent, teacher, librarian,...

Jim Dale's soporific magic

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I’ve always been a big Harry Potter fan, but I never dreamed how much a part of my life Harry would become.When my first son was born, I was in labor for a week and struggling to stay calm. My mom is a psychologist and also does hypnosis (legitimate hypnosis...

Mr. Slinger wows again

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Recently I had a little talk with my two four-year-old grandchildren.All talks with four-year-olds are by definition little. Preschoolers aren’t ready for marathon discussions. For one thing, marathon discussions tend to happen late at night when they’re asleep, and for another, their favorite topics don’t support extended discourse. That is,...

From Pencil to Page: Sketches and Illustrations by Grace Lin

From Starry River of the Sky From Ling & Ting Share a BirthdayThe weekend before last, my family and I attended the family-friendly opening reception of Grace Lin's exhibit "From Pencil to Page: Sketches and Illustrations" at the Pao Arts Center, part of the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center. Grace's Ling...

Crossing bridges, turning pages

Mothering my seven children often inspires my writing, but I’ve made it a policy to avoid writing publicly about specific struggles I have with them. Growing up is hard enough, and I worry that real openness could amount to betrayal or worse. All to say: I have a story to...

Loving Day 2018

Tuesday, June 12, marked the fifty-first anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark civil rights case that struck down anti-miscegenation laws and legalized interracial marriage. Last weekend the Central Flea outdoor open market in Cambridge, MA, shared its space with the Loving Day Cambridge Block Party. Lots and lots of people...

BEE excited for summer!

Our focus at this time of year tends to be on the flowers blooming all around us, bringing divine scents and bright colors to a formerly gray landscape. This year, however, it’s the bees that are captivating me. On a quiet day, I can hear their buzzing around our flowering...

Race in fairy tales

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[portfolio_slideshow]I grew up in the 1970s, when the lens on fairy tales turned academic and feminist. It was a time when fairy tales were being examined and critiqued for remaining wedded to their their antiquated gender roles--the recurring ideals of strength and adventure belonged to the realm of men and...

On Madelyn Travis's "Thank Heavens for Hugo, or When Size Matters" (from 2011)

In "Thank Heavens for Hugo, or When Size Matters," children's literature scholar Madelyn Travis wrote about her efforts to encourage her then-seven-year-old son to "love reading" and her worry that "if he doesn’t, he will miss out on one of life’s great joys."Lordy, do I get it. Though my kids...

When life gives you The Lemonade War

What do you do when life (or your second-grade teacher*) gives you Jacqueline Davies’s The Lemonade War? If you don’t have lemonade, you grab an open bottle of grape juice from the fridge and half-empty bag of Goldfish crackers from the cupboard and wait for the customers to line up.To...

2018 Summer Reading Recommendations

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Pie Is for Sharing, as our Five Questions interviewees remind us, and so is this special issue of Notes from the Horn Book, which presents our 2018 Summer Reading list. We’ve selected our top ten suggestions, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, for all age ranges — fifty books in all...

2018 Summer Reading List

For a handy take-along list of titles, download our printable PDF.Picture BooksSuggested grade level for all entries: PS–2Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes; illus. by Gordon C. James (Millner/Bolden/Agate)Windows by Julia Denos; illus. by E. B. Goodale (Candlewick)How Are You? / ¿Cómo estás? by Angela Dominguez...

2018 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: High School

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2017–2018 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.For a...

2018 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Intermediate

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2017–2018 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.For a...

2018 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Middle School

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2017–2018 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.For a...

2018 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Picture Books

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2017–2018 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.For a...

2018 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Easy Readers and Primary Grades

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2017–2018 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.For a...

Mama-Llama Day 2018

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We'd been wondering why a four-year-old Lolly's Classroom blog post was generating so many new comments. Then we realized that Netflix had just released a new animated series based on the Llama Llama books by the late Anna Dewdney (you can read her heartfelt and very Family Reading-appropriate keynote speech...

Teacher Appreciation 2018

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May 7-11 is National Teacher Appreciation Week, and today is National Teacher Day, a day on which the National Education Association hopes we will all go out of our way to #ThankATeacher. We are both the parents of two elementary-school-aged children, and we send HUGE thank yous to the teachers,...

The opposite of "easy"

We’ve passed the early reading stage in my house, but I love the Magazine’s new column on books for beginning readers, which declares that we are in an “easy reader renaissance.” I can see why. Books for kids learning to read are being published in all shapes, sizes, and formats,...

Spring Break (?!) 2018

Emack & Bolio's ice cream: "Closed due to bad weather" on Marathon Monday. This never happens.Though it doesn't feel much like spring here in Massachusetts (brr!), this is April School Vacation Week. Monday was Patriots' Day, a state holiday commemorating the Revolutionary War battles of Lexington and Concord; it was also...

Nic Stone in Parents Magazine

"Pack a Super-Fun Lunch!"Though I don't go out of my way to read parenting magazines (and I will likely never have it together enough to "Pack a Super-Fun Lunch!"), if I do see one, I'll give it a browse. I was so glad to discover Nic Stone's article "My Boy...

On Rising

Fifty years ago today — April 4, 1968 — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Andrea Davis Pinkney’s transcendent Martin Rising: Requiem for a King (Scholastic, 2018), brilliantly illustrated by her husband, Brian Pinkney, honors the civil rights icon's life and work by shining light on...

Finding the Right Shoes: Reading War Stories with Kids

It was the late 1980s, during a period known for car bombs in the Lebanese civil war. I was a child living in suburban Chicago, but the majority of my extended family was still in Beirut, experiencing a horrific war. I heard stories of the war in newspapers, letters, and...

Marching for their lives

Art by Friend of The Horn Book Innosanto Nagara.This Saturday, March 24, 2018, will see many communities around the world participating in youth-led March for Our Lives protest demonstrations. Here is the information about our local Boston March.The topics of guns, gun safety, and especially school shootings can be difficult...

Patterns

Late winter in New England means a kind of limbo between seasons. You never know what it will be like out — snow or mud or something in between. So when I was preparing for a visit to my twin daughters' classroom to teach a winter science lesson, I had...

Women's History Month 2018

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March is Women's History Month, and that gave author-illustrator-supermom-friend-of-the-Horn-Book Grace Lin [edited to add, per Comment below] and colleagues including Karen Blumenthal, Meg Medina, Christine Taylor-Butler, and Jeanette Bradley, plus others a radical idea: let's celebrate and amplify the work and voices of women in the children's book industry. (Remember...

The arc of the moral universe

Like many people in the country, I’ve been inspired by the Florida high school students who are making impassioned calls for gun law reform in the wake of last week’s mass shooting. Rather than turning inward to process the trauma — which would make complete sense — they're using the...

On Christopher Myers's "Orlando" (from 2016)

Art by Christopher Myers.Just after the Pulse nightclub murders in June 2016, Christopher Myers wrote the Horn Book Magazine article "Orlando":What happens next, in the wake of these sorts of tragedies, I’m sorry to say, has become increasingly familiar. News outlets scramble, desperate to find narratives that they can apply...

Picture books about Jewish women

Glaser, Linda Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty32 pp. Houghton 2010. ISBN 978-0-547-17184-5Illustrated by Claire A. Nivola. Glaser's account of how Emma Lazarus came to write her iconic poem is brief, yet telling -- especially when complemented by Nivola's eloquent illustrations. Her rectilinear compositions and poses; generalized...

A missed opportunity

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I have been eagerly awaiting the release of Susan Hood’s Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World (HarperCollins, 2018). The text is interpreted by some of my favorite illustrators, including Julie Morstad, LeUyen Pham, Melissa Sweet, and Sophie Blackall. And from the partial list of subjects in...

Winter Art

photo credit: Phoebe OlcottWhen winter seems to be only shades of black and white, who doesn’t crave color? I often find I'm drawn to doing colorful art projects with my girls — like collages and painting. When one of my daughters recently suggested painting with snow, I was excited to...

Empowering Children with a Home Library

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I confess. I’m a book hoarder. Someday my house may collapse under the enormous weight of books it holds. As a young girl, I dreamed of a library that reached from floor to ceiling, with one of those fantastic rolling ladders that I could slide along the walls to pluck...

On Rudine Sims Bishop's "The Pinkney Family: In the Tradition" (from 1996)

"With their art and their writing, the Pinkneys have enriched American children’s literature by illuminating the experiences of African Americans and of others as well. They are committed to telling the untold stories of African Americans, to making connections across cultures, to demonstrating, as Jerry says, that 'we as a...

"Stories that build on a common humanity”

In "A Fine Bookshelf," from the March/April 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, author and Haitian immigrant Ibi Zoboi talks about building a home library for her two daughters, now teenagers. As the girls were growing up, Zoboi sought out books that mirrored her children's experience and that celebrated...

Snow Day!

Brave Irene tree. Photo: Shoshana Flax.I'm taking advantage of today's East Coast blizzard to catch up on a few online things (while we still have power!), and I see that I missed Katie's Out of the Box write-up of the Horn Book's holiday adventure to the Concord Museum last month....

Winter Seeds

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I am thankful for the evergreens, especially at this time of the year when other trees are bare and many animals have migrated to warmer climes. Evergreens provide a bit of color, their green needles glistening in the winter sunlight, in our now mostly monotone winter landscape, and they hold...

On Rachel Kamin's "Move Over, Shmelf...There Are Other Books on the Shelf" (from 2016)

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The first night of Hanukkah is Wednesday, December 13, Tuesday, December 12 [thanks to Julie Rosemarin for alerting us to the error!], and if you're tempted to add the story of Shmelf, the Hanukkah Elf to your family's holiday traditions, well, read what librarian and anti-Shmelfer Rachel Kamin had to...

Family Trees: A Celebration of Children's Literature

Children's literature scholar and long-time friend of the Horn Book, Carolyn Shute recently let me know about a seasonal exhibit at the Concord (MA) Museum. If you live in the area or will be in or near eastern Massachusetts in the next few weeks, I recommend making the museum's Family...

Field Notes: Lucha Libros: Bilingual Battle of the Books

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On May 3, 2017, fifty-six second- and third-graders and their parents gathered in the Pasadena Public Library’s Donald R. Wright Auditorium for the final battle of our third annual Lucha Libros reading competition. That month’s selection was Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox / El Superzorro. As I looked around the...

Love at First Read: Spotting the Moment When My Children Fell For Books

When my oldest son first fell in love, I recognized the symptoms instantly. He lost his appetite, couldn’t sleep, and spent hours in his room with a daydream-y glimmer in his eyes. It wasn’t a person he’d fallen for, though; it was a book. At age five, he’d always been...

Remember

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors those who have died as a result of anti-transgender violence. Katie's Out of the Box post from last week is rich with links not only to trans- and queer-related articles and reviews from the Horn Book but also to organizations and recommended...

Interview with a Highly Sensitive 8-year-old reader

My eight-year-old daughter is a voracious reader, devouring mysteries, dramas, action/adventure, and fantasy books at, frankly, an alarming pace. It’s not surprising that three of her friends gave her books for her birthday and that she immediately dove in to read them. What was surprising was when, halfway through one...

On Susan Kusel's "Book or Treat!" (from 2016)

"Over the years, I’ve been amazed at the number of kids who arrive at my house looking forward to selecting their book."In "Book or Treat!," librarian and "frequent book-award committee member" Susan Kusel writes about the genius way she divests herself of the many review copies she receives throughout the...

Halloween treats

The Halloween countdown is on. As certain people in my house wait not-so-patiently for the witching hour on October 31, we've been working our way through our pile of favorite spooky picture books and are looking forward to checking out some new ones from the library.Happily, the ghosts and ghouls...

National Bullying Prevention Month 2017 Unity Day

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Today is Unity Day, when people wear orange to spotlight the issue of bullying and raise awareness of bullying prevention. "Together against bullying — united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion." Click here for additional ways to show your support, and look for the hashtag...

Parenting inspiration from Kazu Kibuishi and other graphic novelists at the MICE expo

"What is the hardest character for you to draw?” my second-grade son, Miles, asked Kazu Kibuishi, author and illustrator of his favorite graphic novels series, Amulet. Kibuishi had just finished an inspiring talk and demonstration for a group of children and adults at MICE (Massachusetts Independent Comics Exposition) at Lesley...
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