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Five questions for Raúl the Third

There’s so much to see in Raúl the Third‘s comics-influenced picture book ¡Vamos!: Let’s Go to the Market! (Versify/Houghton, 5–8 years). The story takes place in and around the bustling Mercado Cuauhtémoc as Little Lobo and his dog Bernabé make their way through the marketplace. ¡Vamos! is part of the debut list of Houghton Mifflin […]

Five questions for Christian Robinson

Another (Atheneum, 3–7 years) is the debut of acclaimed illustrator Christian Robinson working as both author and illustrator…in a wordless, sci-fi picture book about cats, wormholes (or maybe parallel universes?), friendship, and play. Filled with color and joy, the book alters perceptions and stretches imaginations. 1. Another is your first solo picture book — and it’s wordless! Was […]

Five questions for Laurie Halse Anderson

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Laurie Halse Anderson’s landmark novel Speak (Farrar, 12–16 years), about Melinda, a teenage rape victim who reclaims her voice. Now in SHOUT (Viking, 14 years and up), the author presents a “poetry memoir” that explores frequently painful events in her own life, her complicated family members’ lives, and […]

Five questions for Claire Hartfield

With painstaking historical detail, Claire Hartfield’s nonfiction book  A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 (Clarion, 12–16 years) recounts the week of violence in 1919 Chicago that left thirty-eight people dead and 537 wounded (two-thirds of the casualties were black; one-third, white) and the underlying causes leading to the conflict. Hartfield is […]

Five questions for Newbery Medalist Meg Medina

Meg Medina is the winner of the 2019 Newbery Medal for Merci Suárez Changes Gears (read The Horn Book Magazine‘s starred review here). For our February issue of The Horn Book Herald: ALA Youth Media Awards Edition e-newsletter, Medina answered Five Questions posed by Horn Book reviewer, children’s librarian, REFORMA member, and ALSC board member […]

Five questions for Caroline Cala

If you were a young reader in the nineties (or even if you weren’t), there’s a good chance you remember Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club books. Author Caroline Cala definitely does, and her hilarious series-starter Best Babysitters Ever (Houghton, 10–12 years) brings Kristy’s great idea of yore to modern readers — whether or not they’re […]

Five questions for Traci Sorell and Frané Lessac

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge, 5–8 years), is a lushly illustrated, through-the-seasons look at a contemporary Cherokee community’s daily life, pausing for celebrations of traditional observances (e.g., Cherokee New Year) and making special note of gratitude. 1. “Cherokee people say otsaliheliga to express gratitude. It is a reminder […]

Five questions for Kate DiCamillo

Fans of Kate DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale will remember Louisiana Elefante as the perceptive friend (and orphaned daughter of trapeze artists) who reassures the others: “We’ll rescue each other.” In companion book Louisiana’s Way Home (both Candlewick, 8–11 years), it seems that Louisiana may need rescuing — from the “care” of her grandmother who takes her […]

Five questions for Zetta Elliott

Zetta Elliott’s Dragons in a Bag (Random, 8–11 years) kicks off a new middle-grade fantasy series starring Jaxon, a young African American Brooklynite who gets a glimpse of the magical possibilities of our world (and others) when he spends a day with new acquaintance Ma. 1. In the acknowledgements of Dragons in a Bag you […]

Five questions for Sergio Ruzzier

The Party and Other Stories [Fox + Chick] (Chronicle; 5–8 years) stars two friends whose relationship isn’t always so smooth. It looks like a picture book from the outside, but simply structured panels and spare, repetitive text make it work just as effectively as an easy reader and an introduction to the conventions of graphic […]