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Holiday High Notes 2021

Season’s greetings from the Horn Book staff! Here’s our annual list of recommended holiday books. (See also the reviews of Hanukkah/Christmas story Red and Green and Blue and White and The People Remember for Kwanzaa in the November/December 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.) Leah’s Star by Margaret Bateson-Hill;...

When Failure Is Not an Option: Connecting the Dots with STEM

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A few years ago, I was asked to give the keynote address as part of a daylong STEM workshop for middle-grade science teachers. I suggested inviting a NASA specialist for a separate virtual session. It wasn’t the first time I’d done that. While conducting a session on planets for fourth...

Caterpillar Man: Remembering Eric Carle

The artist in his studio, circa 2015. Photo (c) The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. The news of Eric Carle’s (1929–2021) death last May sparked a worldwide outpouring of affection from four generations of readers who were moved to recall the joy his books had given them over...

How a Prelingual Deaf Child Learned to Love Books

There have been several major studies in recent decades about the benefits of reading picture books to profoundly deaf children with delayed literacy skills. Often, the kids are compared to their average-hearing peers, and, though this may be perplexing to some, their skills have not been found wanting. Cheri L....

My Father's Final Lesson - The Zena Sutherland Lecture

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The idea of giving a lecture is kind of funky for me. So I will do what I always do, which is just tell you a story. Anyone who knows me knows I love my mama. But when I was thinking about what I wanted to talk about today, I...

2021 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.   Stalled The Old Truck by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey     Didn't fly How to Find a Bird by Jennifer Ward; illus. by Diana Sudyka     Missed its... Chance by Uri Shulevitz    ...

O Say Can You See

While fireworks over county fairgrounds hover, as rockets whistling bang and everybody cheers,        fireflies miles away spangle a hillside field with secret slowly moving silent little stars.   Statelessly floating as on some unseen river, floating just above the ground and spinning as   the cries grow dimmer, what...

The Latinx KidLit Book Festival

The year 2020 was challenging — and will forever be associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. But there were some bright spots. The inaugural Latinx KidLit Book Festival, brought to viewers by Las Musas Books — a collective of women and nonbinary Latinx middle-grade, picture book, and YA authors — is...

Simple and Unassuming: Seeing Myself in the Story of a Bossy Rooster

You never know what it is about a book that an individual reader will connect with. It could be a character’s personality or interests. It could be the setting, a shared home. And sometimes it is something as simple and unassuming as an object. Let’s say, a box. When my...
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