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Welcome to the Horn Book's Family Reading blog, a place devoted to offering children's book recommendations and advice about the whats and whens and whos and hows of sharing books in the home. Find us on Twitter @HornBook and on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheHornBook


A missed opportunity

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 the book’s promotional material, I […]

Winter Art

When 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 see just what she had in mind. It […]

Empowering Children with a Home Library

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 books from shelves. Our home […]

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 people are as good as […]

“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 past generations. She begins her […]

Snow Day!

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. “From the Horn Book family to yours…” includes a festive […]

Winter Seeds

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 the promise of new life […]

On Rachel Kamin’s “Move Over, Shmelf…There Are Other Books on the Shelf” (from 2016)

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 say last year in “Move […]

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 Trees: A Celebration of Children’s […]

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 enthusiastic about books, but up […]