A Note from Me (May 7, 2021)

Dear friends:

Normally on this first Friday in May I’d be winging my way to Chicago for the Zena Sutherland Lecture tonight, but this year I’ll be watching from home along with everybody else as ZS lecturer Jason Reynolds does his inimitable thing. I’m looking forward to it — I reviewed his first novel When I Was the Greatest when it came out and knew he was something special. But alas, no committee dinner with Jason at Sofi, no reunions with old Chicago friends, no dessert-laden spread at the reception après Lecture. However, a Zoom lecture means you can all attend, so do! Tonight at 7:30 p.m. CDT, live, and you can get a (free) ticket here. Because we’re anticipating an audience largely unfamiliar with Zena and the Lecture, I’ve recorded a short video introducing both to precede Jason’s talk and I’ll post it on the website next week for those of you who might be curious (and we plan to publish the Lecture per usual in the Magazine this fall).

I got my May/June special issue of The Horn Book Magazine, and it’s a beauty! Its focus is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Pura Belpré Award, and you can order a single copy here (info at bottom) and also (still, for now) read it online for free. We’ll be posting articles on hbook.com, so check our social media (@hbook on Twitter; Facebook.com/TheHornBook; @thehornbook on Instagram) and also follow (and join!) REFORMA.

In this week’s Book Bundle, Kitty reviews three new songs-become-picture-books from Tom Chapin, Cat Stevens, and Lil Nas X (that scamp). I never knew what to do with song-picture-books at storyhour but probably you are more creative and will have better luck. As Cat Stevens would say (in “Peace Train”): “Ooh, ah, ee ya, ooh ya.”

Happy Mother’s Day. I’m sad that the Arnold Arboretum has once again cancelled Lilac Sunday, but it’s good to know that the lilacs still wave and — who knows? — may enjoy the day off.



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. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

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