Horn Book trivia

Q: Who likes trivia?
A: Horn Book editors do!
(And we hope you do too!)

As part of our centennial celebration in 2024, we'll be quizzing our readers on Horn Book trivia every Tuesday. We plan to dig through the Magazine's archives for some "fun facts" through the decades that will test your Horn Book knowledge about children's books, our roots, past contributors, controversies and kerfuffles, and more — including, hopefully, some doozies that may surprise everyone. We hope you'll share your guesses with us in the comments below and/or on our social media [facebook.com/TheHornBook | @thehornbook on Instagram | @HornBook on X (formerly Twitter)]. Check back here late Tuesday afternoons for each week's answer. Let the game begin! 

1/2/24 Q: What's a horn book?
A: Our website holds the answer! (And as a bonus, here's an example of a fancy one in the Library of Congress's collection.)

1/9/24 Q: How much did the first issue of the Horn Book Magazine cost? (Bonus Q: What was that first year's subscription price?)
A: The answer (to both questions) is on this page featuring Bertha E. Mahony's first editorial.

1/16/24 Q: What was the nickname of The Bookshop for Boys and Girls' book wagon?
A: Learn the answer to this week's question in a caption within Barbara Bader's 1999 Horn Book Magazine article "Treasure Island by the Roadside." And check out these Book Caravan clippings and diary transcriptions for more book wagon history!

1/23/24 Q: When did the first Hunt Breakfast appear in the Magazine?
A: Volume II, Number 4 (November 1926). Hunt Breakfast was the precursor to the current Impromptu section of the Magazine. Read the very first Hunt Breakfast here!

1/30/24 Q: Who was Alice-Heidi?
A: Doll, contributor, editor...Alice-Heidi had many roles at the Horn Book.

2/6/24 Q: What's the first year of the Magazine with an annual index?
A: 1930. 1924–1929 were indexed together according to a note in the February 1930 issue (Volume VI, Number 1).

2/13/24 Q: What year did the Magazine become a bimonthly publication?
A: 1934. Fun fact: the masthead in November 1933 changed to list the publication as being bimonthly, but that year the Magazine was still published quarterly.

2/20/24 Q: When did children’s literature critic Anne Carroll Moore begin The Three Owls’ Notebook column in the Magazine?
A: November/December 1936. See the announcement from the previous issue here.

2/27/24 Q: Which issue of the Magazine featured the first departure from Randolph Caldecott’s cover art?
A: November/December 1937.

3/5/24 Q: The first Horn Book Fanfare included the best books from which year?
A: 1938.

3/12/24 Q: In which issue did the Magazine first celebrate an anniversary/milestone?
A: The May/June 1944 issue, which was the Horn Book’s 20th anniversary.

3/19/24 Q: When did the Horn Book, Inc., publish its first book and what was the title?
A: A Little History of the Horn-book by Beulah Folmsbee (1942), which could fit in the palm of your hand and included black-and-white illustrations plus two fancy foldouts.

3/26/24 Q: What was the Horn Book League?
A: Our 75th anniversary issue in September/October 1999 delved into this topic in the Horn Book Reminiscences column.

4/2/24 Q: There have been two periods in our history during which the Horn Book did not publish Fanfare. When were they?
A: No lists were published from 1941–1944, or 1954–1957, most likely due to World War II and the start of the Vietnam War. Interestingly, when the regular list resumed with 1958, the editors also created a special "five-year Fanfare List" that they offered (via this Hunt Breakfast notice) to mail to subscribers upon request. So technically a list for 1954–1957 exists, just not in the print magazines. Oh how we wish we could get our hands on that special list!

4/9/24 Q: Margaret M. Scoggin began the regular Outlook Tower column of book reviews in January/February 1948. For which age level was she highlighting books? (Bonus Q: Where did the name Outlook Tower come from?)
A: Here is her first column, which notes the intended audience at the top. (And that issue's edition of The Hunt Breakfast explains the origins of the column title.)

4/16/24 Q: When did Jennie D. Lindquist take over from Bertha E. Mahony Miller as the second Editor of the Horn Book?
A: January 1, 1951, according to BMM's announcement in the November/December 1950 editorial. See also JDL's first editorial in the January/February 1951 issue, and her bio in the Virtual History Exhibit.

4/23/24 Q: Who was Thomas Todd III and what was his connection to The Horn Book, Inc.?
A: Mr. Todd was the Magazine's printer when it was founded in 1924 and served as treasurer of The Horn Book, Inc., for many years. The Thomas Todd Company also printed books published by The Horn Book, Inc. Here is his obituary notice from Jennie D. Lindquist's editorial in the August 1956 issue and an earlier appreciation of him by Bertha Mahony Miller in her March–April 1950 editorial.

4/30/24 Q: When did Ruth Hill Viguers take over from Jennie D. Lindquist as the third Editor of the Horn Book?
A: July 1, 1958. It was announced in The Hunt Breakfast of the June 1958 issue. See also and Bertha's editorial salute to Jennie D. Lindquist in that same issue and Ruth Hill Viguers's bio in the Virtual History Exhibit.

5/7/24 Q: When did The Three Owls’ Notebook columnist Anne Carroll Moore pass away?
A: January 20, 1961 according to The Hunt Breakfast in the April 1961 issue.

5/14/24 Q: Who became president of The Horn Book, Inc., after Bertha Mahony Miller?
A: Mary E. Manthorne, Bertha's niece-in-law, became president of the company in 1962 and served until her death on August 24, 1978. Here is her obituary from the October 1978 issue.

5/21/24 Q: When did Paul Heins take over from Ruth Hill Viguers as the fourth Editor of the Horn Book?
A: The December 1967 issue. Here is Ruth Hill Viguers’s goodbye editorial and a notice in The Hunt Breakfast from the October 1967 issue, as well as notice of the official change in the December issue and Paul Heins’s first editorial in that issue. See also Paul Heins's bio in the Virtual History Exhibit.

5/28/24 Q: When did the Horn Book's founder, Bertha Mahony Miller, pass away?
A: May 14, 1969. Read then-current Horn Book editor Paul Heins’s editorial from the August 1969 issue, which served as her obituary notice; an entire issue in tribute to her followed in October 1969.

6/4/24 Q: When did the third editor of the Horn Book, Ruth Hill Viguers, pass away?
A: February 2, 1971 per notice in the April 1971 issue's Hunt Breakfast, which included a tribute by husband Richard T. Viguers. Frances Clarke Sayers also wrote a guest editorial for that issue about Viguers's passing entitled "Well Done, Old Squirrel!"

6/11/24 Q: When did the Horn Book Magazine covers switch completely to color?
A: Color covers began in 1973. While still featuring Randolph Caldecott’s art, one background color was chosen for each issue: blue (Feb), green (Apr), gold (Jun), turquoise (Aug), orange (Oct), and red (Dec); this tradition continued with only slight variations until Maurice Sendak’s illustrated cover in 1985.

6/18/24 Q: When was the "Letters to the Editor" page officially added to the Magazine?
A: December 1971. As Paul Heins noted in his editorial that issue, the page would "include replies from the editor whenever necessary. The continuance of this page, of course, will depend upon the number and kinds of letters sent to the editor."

6/25/24 Q: When did Ethel Heins take over from Paul Heins as the fifth Editor of the Horn Book?

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Celia Perez

Digging past the cobwebs to what I learned in library school ages ago...a horn book was a type of reader mounted on wood? I remember the object looked like a paddle. Right? Did I win?I would like to propose that in honor of its 100th anniversary, The Horn Book Magazine's 2024 subscription rate be it's original rate. ;)

Posted : Jan 10, 2024 06:53



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