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Please Come to Boston

in the fall. We’re in the midst of planning the Horn Book at Simmons, a one day colloquium on October 2nd, focused on this year’s crop of Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners and honor books. When Cathie Mercier (Simmons College), Andrew Thorne (Media Source) and I first began planning the day, we didn’t even know […]

Beatrix and Bertha

Beatrix Potter’s resistance to critics and fans writing about her books is well documented. In 1939 Margaret Lane, who would later become Potter’s first biographer, received a classic brush-off: So I wrote to Beatrix Potter, as politely and respectfully as I knew how, telling her of my lifelong pleasure in her work, and my admiration, […]

Beatrix and Bertha

Beatrix Potter’s resistance to critics and fans writing about her books is well documented. In 1939 Margaret Lane, who would later become Potter’s first biographer, received a classic brush-off: So I wrote to Beatrix Potter, as politely and respectfully as I knew how, telling her of my lifelong pleasure in her work, and my admiration, […]

Realms of Gold and Granite

The Bookshop for Boys and Girls was born, in a twelvemonth, with a pedigree and a distinguished list of patrons. Its role was largely determined from the outset. But life, real life, is also a string of accidents. Bertha Mahony was thirty-three and restless after ten years as a good right-hand at Boston’s Women’s Educational […]

Horn Book Reminiscence from Elizabeth Orton Jones

by Elizabeth Orton Jones Tchrr-r-r-r! The phone would ring. I’d answer, and after a considerable while I’d hear a faint little quavery voice, as if someone were calling me from beyond the Pleiades…“E-li-i-izabeth?” It would be my dear friend Bertha Mahony Miller, calling from Ashburnham, Massachusetts, about seventeen miles from Mason, New Hampshire, where I […]

Horn Book Reminiscence from Lee Kingman

By Lee Kingman My earliest memory of Bertha Mahony, before she added Miller to her name, begins with her feet. Small feet, proportioned to her small frame. As I was a lanky nine-year-old, I was almost as tall as she was. Her lack of size, however, had nothing to do with her authority, which was […]

Realms of Gold and Granite

The Bookshop for Boys and Girls was born, in a twelvemonth, with a pedigree and a distinguished list of patrons. Its role was largely determined from the outset. But life, real life, is also a string of accidents. Bertha Mahony was thirty-three and restless after ten years as a good right-hand at Boston’s Women’s Educational […]

Horn Book Reminiscence from Elizabeth Orton Jones

By Elizabeth Orton Jones Tchrr-r-r-r! The phone would ring. I’d answer, and after a considerable while I’d hear a faint little quavery voice, as if someone were calling me from beyond the Pleiades . . . “E-li-i-izabeth?” It would be my dear friend Bertha Mahony Miller, calling from Ashburnham, Massachusetts, about seventeen miles from Mason, New Hampshire, where I […]

“Alive and Vigorous”: Questioning the Newbery

As the Horn Book approaches its seventy-fifth birthday, we’ve been celebrating Bertha Mahony Miller: her vision, her enthusiastic devotion to children’s books, her potent, pioneering spirit. Bertha, founder of the country’s first children’s-book-only bookstore and co-founder and first editor of The Horn Book Magazine, recognized a kindred spirit in Frederic G. Melcher, “children’s bookman extraordinaire” […]

Peter Says Please

In August 1927 the Horn Book carried an appeal for help in preserving the Lake District countryside in the names of two eminent English countryfolk, Peter Rabbit and Beatrix Potter. In the illustrated letter, Peter pleads mutely, like a dog begging for a bone. But they do not come empty-handed, says Potter, offering a signed […]