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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...

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...

The Writer's Page: How Did I Get Here?: From Picture Books to a Graphic Memoir

The revision for my next picture book was late. I usually meet my deadlines, but this time I had a good excuse. A routine colonoscopy had revealed a large tumor, and it was cancerous. My treatment schedule would last a year, including two rounds of chemo, radiation, and two surgeries. As...

2023 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.   Not-dog Every Dog in the Neighborhood by Philip C. Stead; illus. by Matthew Cordell Don’t Worry, Murray by David Ezra Stein     Locked out Farmhouse by Sophie Blackall     Swept away A Day for...

Caldecott at Eighty-Five: A Decade in Review

In 2013, in commemoration of the Caldecott Medal's seventy-fifth anniversary (first awarded in 1938), the Horn Book ran a series of articles by the venerable Kathleen T. Horning looking back at the award decade by decade. Our May/June 2022 issue celebrated the Newbery's centennial, and Linda Sue Park's article "From...

2022: The Year in Words and Pictures

This year’s ALA Youth Media Award winners represent a range of experiences, expertise, interests, and topics. There are previous, beloved winners and there are newcomers to the stage — notably Doug Salati for the Caldecott Medal and Amina Luqman-Dawson for both the Newbery and Coretta Scott King Author awards. Three...

Profile of Editor Alexandra Hightower

Future editor of Freewater. Photo courtesy of Alexandra Hightower. On a recent visit to her family home in Atlanta, Alex(andra) ­Hightower came across some papers from her tenth-grade English class. Looking at her essays and the notes in the margins, Alex was struck by how the work she did in...

Profile of 2023 CSK Illustrator Award winner Frank Morrison

Sonali Fry and Frank Morrison. Photo courtesy of Sonali Fry. Every time I speak with Frank Morrison, I learn a cool fact about him. For instance, during one conversation, he told me that when he was a child, his favorite pastime was drawing Quicky, the official Nestle’s Nesquik mascot. What...

Profile of 2023 Children's Literature Legacy Award winner James E. Ransome

Jonda C. McNair and James E. Ransome in 2001. Photo: James J. Bishop. One of the highlights of my time as a doctoral student was serving as a hostess for esteemed authors and illustrators when they came to town to participate in the now-defunct The Ohio State University Children’s Literature...
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