A Note from Me (Apr 2, 2021)

Dear friends:

Awww, Beverly Cleary. Tributes are everywhere (including the front page of the Times, featuring yours truly) and we’ve rounded up several from among the many that have appeared in the Horn Book over the years. And I have a new “I’m so old…”: “I’m so old I remember when Ramona was just a sidekick.” Henry Huggins was among the first chapter books I read (over and over) and I was delighted to find this news item from 1950 about its impending publication. Note that they don’t call it a children’s book, instead, “a light novel.” Who wouldn’t like one of those about now? In honor of Cleary’s passing, I’m following my friend Elizabeth’s lead by reading for the first time Ellen Tebbits, a book I distinctly remember longing for but avoiding because it had a girl’s name. Thank God Ramona came along to help put that kind of nonsense to rest.

It’s National Poetry Month now! I had a dream the other night that I was lost in downtown Boston and poet Jorie Graham, someone I’ve neither met nor read, showed up to rescue me, so clearly she’s next on my list. Our website includes some original poems (just search with the tag poems), a few of which were penned by our own Shoshana Flax. Speaking of whom, did any of you fall for Shoshana’s April Fools’ Day post?

For the first night of Passover Richard made a delicious brisket. We celebrated the second (and Palm Sunday) with an interfaith viewing of The Ten Commandments, although I guess Richard and I are both followers of YHWH in the context of the era (Biblical era, not the film’s!). What a movie: dramatically engrossing, theologically interesting, and lots of delicious Technicolor, not to mention Yul Brynner’s legs. Poor Anne Baxter, though, whose lines as the vampy Nefretiri provoked from us the most laughter: “Oh, Moses, Moses, you stubborn, splendid, adorable fool!” Next up for us in the same vein is Samson and Delilah but I may inflict The Greatest Story Ever Told on my boychik this Sunday. But whatever your faith, enjoy some chocolate.



Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton

Editor Emeritus Roger Sutton was editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., from 1996-2021. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his MA in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a BA from Pitzer College in 1978.

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