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The 2018 Robin Smith Picture Book Prize

We here at Calling Caldecott think often of Robin Smith — beloved second-grade teacher, reviewer, and enthusiastic co-author of this blog before her untimely death last June. Her passion for and astute observations of picture books infuse the work we continue to do here, every day. Every. Single. Day. We wanted to do something special to recognize her contribution to our field […]

I wish librarians ran the world

I really enjoyed my interview with old school chum Carla Hayden in her Librarian of Congress office (with a beautiful view of the Capitol dome that nevertheless uneasily reminded me of way too many summer movies of the apocalyptic bent!). In the main, we spoke about children’s books and youth librarianship, but Carla said something that […]

A trip to the Library

I’m going to D.C. tomorrow to interview good sport Carla Hayden for our upcoming May/June special issue, themed “Making a Difference.” We are going to talk about how children’s librarians change the world. I won’t be at Midwinter, but Martha, Elissa, and Al will be there, so please say hello if you see them in […]

From the mixed-up lost and found of the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Mixed-Up Files at 50

At the end of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, a museum guard reports that a violin case and a trumpet case, containing gray-washed underwear and a transistor radio, have been found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s lost and found. “No one has claimed them yet.” Yet is a good word […]

R.I.P. Blanche

I was sad to hear from former Horn Book president Duncan Todd today that Blanche Egersheim, a stalwart of the Thomas Todd Company and the Horn Book for fifty years, died earlier this month at the age of ninety-eight. Blanche was, as then-publisher Anne Quirk wrote upon Blanche’s retirement in 2006, “the Horn Book’s bookkeeper, human […]

Not so simple gifts

Jeez, we didn’t get into any trouble at all the last time we criticized a First Lady, but clearly times have changed. I wanted to state that I am very proud that the Horn Book published Liz Phipps Soeiro’s  open letter to Melania Trump. It was polite, constructive, informative, and well-reasoned. Not so for all […]

“Be a Robin Reader”

It was hard for the family and friends of Horn Book contributor Robin Smith to say goodbye to her after her death from bone cancer in late June, but we gathered to do so in Nashville in mid-July of this year. There were lots of tears as friends, family, colleagues, and many of her current […]

On Jean C. George’s “Summer and Children and Birds and Animals and Flowers and Trees and Bees and Books” (from 1959)

That’s Jean Craighead George, folks. This article, originally published in the June 1959 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, is very much like its leisurely, evocative title: “Summer and Children and Birds and Animals and Flowers and Trees and Bees and Books.” Beginning with a tender story about her daughter and an abandoned rose-breasted grosbeak […]

Everybody needs a Boss

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll know that I sometimes chastise others for their shortcomings, as demonstrated in whatever piece of text lies before me at a given moment, in taste or intellect or grammar. My victims, shamed but unnamed, include authors, publishers, journalists, or politicians; those with whom I work at the Horn […]

Tiny but tough

Happy birthday, Barbara Bader. NINETY, wow. In your honor we have rounded up some of your greatest hits. Like other old people, I frequently find myself wanting to tell the young to know your history, and the Horn Book is proud to have for so long published one of children’s librarianship and children’s literature’s ablest and […]