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What Makes a Good Manners Book?

What’s the magic word? These days many children would answer, “Expelliarmus!” or some other Harry Potter-ism, but for generations before this the magic word has always been “please.” And yet anyone who works with children regularly can attest to the fact that quite a lot of them don’t seem familiar with that magic word, or […]

Review of Penny and Her Doll

Penny and Her Doll by Kevin Henkes; illus. by the author Primary    Greenwillow    32 pp. 8/12    978-0-06-208199-5    $12.99 Naming things, whether children, pets, or toys, is serious business, and in this follow-up to Penny and Her Song (rev. 3/12) Henkes doesn’t take that task lightly. Gram sends mouse Penny a doll: “The doll had pink […]

Review of Jangles: A Big Fish Story

Jangles: A Big Fish Story by David Shannon; 
illus. by the author Primary    Blue Sky/Scholastic    32 pp. 10/12    978-0-545-14312-7    $17.99    g Shannon takes the one-that-got-away story and spins it out into a big-fish tall tale as recounted by a father to his son. Jangles, the legendary trout of Big Lake, had “broken so many fishing […]

From The Guide: Re-imagined Classics

The Guide, with its comprehensive approach to children’s book reviewing, has a unique perspective on trends in the industry. Recently there’s been a surge of upper-middle-grade and young-adult titles that re-imagine, retell, reinterpret, or just revere beloved stories. The following novels, all recommended by The Horn Book Guide, offer teen-friendly shakeups of classic fairy tales, […]

Foreign Correspondence: New House on the Block: Private Children’s Libraries in China

After Taotao, a Chinese preschooler, paid a first visit to the public Capital Library in Beijing in 2010, the boy’s mother posted an entry to her blog: “There are not many picture books in the library. More are for older kids. The hardest part for me to accept is that many books were rather beaten-up. […]

Core Publishing

You can sometimes feel like the Old Stage Manager in this job, watching ’em all come and go for their hour upon the stage. Big picture books, little picture books, good girls and bad girls, vampires, angels, fallen angels, books for boys, fantasy, and realism. The players have producers: not just publishers but also the […]

The Horn Book Magazine — September/October 2012

  Table of Contents   Features Philip Nel 10 Artists Are to Watch Crockett Johnson, Ruth Krauss, and the FBI. Christine M. Heppermann 20 Whitney and Me Confessions of a work-for-hire diva. Susan C. Griffith 27 “So the Very Young Know and Understand” Reframing the discussion of Theodore Taylor’s The Cay. Columns Roger Sutton 7 […]

The Secret Garden’s Perennial Wisdom…for Parents

Every September of my English teaching career, I’d type up the semester’s reading list and prepare myself for the inevitable question: I’ve already read this! Why do I have to read it again? I’d tell my 
students that rereading a novel at a new period in their lives could bring fresh insight. But I never […]

Give ‘Em Helvetica: Picture Book Type

Type — the formal language of the printed word — speaks to us in mysterious ways. It’s not always clear just what type is saying, or how our reading experience is enhanced or undermined, however subtly, by slight variations in point size (the overall dimensions of the type), or the thickness and proportions of an […]

Judge Judy

You are about to enter the courtroom of Judge Judy. The cases are real. The creatures are folkloric. The rulings are final. . CASE #10705: EVIL STEPSISTERS v. CINDERELLA Judge Judy: You two stepsisters are suing Cinderella and her prince because your feet were irrevocably damaged after trying on some shoes, correct? Evil Stepsister #1: […]