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An Excerpt from "I Am Myrtilla's Daughter" — The Zena Sutherland Lecture

Like so many authors, I have had to deal with book banners, though on a relatively small scale. Last year my picture book A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart was challenged in Virginia by a parent whose child thought it was about skateboards. Spoiler alert...

New for New Readers: Beginning Reader Roundup Fall 2023

The most important things we can do as teachers, librarians, caregivers, and book creators are to understand how children acquire ­reading skills and ensure they’re getting access to high-quality books. These books should engage new readers while also systematically providing the opportunity to practice the skills they need to become...

Holiday High Notes 2023

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but these tales are so delightful. When we’ve candled or decked or treed… let us read! Let us read! Let us read!* Here’s our annual list of recommended new holiday picture books. Season’s greetings from the Horn Book staff! *with apologies to lyricist Sammy...

Editorial: Centennial Eve (November/December 2023)

“Twas the eve of our hundredth / and all through these pages / we’ve been Blowing the Horn / for Fine Books for All Ages!” Shoshana Flax’s parodies are far superior (see Holiday High Notes on page 10; and her Parodies for Charities ­side-gig). But it’s hard for any of...

Review of What You Need to Be Warm

What You Need to Be Warm by Neil Gaiman; illus. by various artistsPrimary, Intermediate    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    32 pp.10/23    9780063358089    $18.99e-book ed.  9780063358102    $12.99Gaiman, who serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency, used social media to ask people about their memories of being warm, to draw attention to—and...

Review of The North Wind & the Sun

The North Wind & the Sun by Philip Stead; illus. by the authorPreschool    Porter/Holiday    48 pp.10/23    9780823455836    $18.99In this retelling of an Aesop’s fable, three elderly sisters don their patched-up coats—yellow, blue, and red—and head out for a walk. The next two spreads are vertically oriented: readers turn the book...

Review of Stories of the Islands

Stories of the Islands by Clar Angkasa; illus. by the authorIntermediate, Middle School    Holiday    176 pp.10/23    9780823449781    $22.99Paper ed.  9780823455737    $14.99e-book ed.  9780823457281    $11.99These graphic-format retellings of three Indonesian folktales steer their female protagonists away from traditional “superficial tropes” and render them as empowered, intelligent characters who determine their own...

Review of Once, a Bird

Once, a Bird by Rina Singh; illus. by Nathalie DionPreschool, Primary    Orca    32 pp.9/23    9781459831438    $21.95e-book ed.  9781459831452    $16.99French ed.  9781459839045    $21.95This wordless story follows a small bird as she perches on a snow-covered branch. When she sees a little red bud on one of the branches, she takes flight....

Review of 10 Dogs

10 Dogs by Emily Gravett; illus. by the authorPreschool    Boxer Books    32 pp.9/23    9781914912597    $16.99Readers can expect much more than just a counting book in Gravett’s (10 Cats, rev. 5/23) latest: it’s also a delightful mathematical puzzler for preschoolers. In the opening spread (one of only two moments of peace),...

Review of Together We Swim

Together We Swim by Valerie Bolling; illus. by Kaylani JuanitaPreschool    Chronicle    40 pp.8/23    9781797212494    $16.99Swimming is an important life skill, yet the legacy of systemic racism and continued inequities in the U.S. result in fewer Black children learning how. That makes this book, featuring a Black family of four, all...

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