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December 18, 2014

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A challenge to self-publishers

A challenge to self-publishers

Thank you all for your comments, here and on Twitter and Facebook, about the question of reviewing books from self-published authors. I am learning a lot. Hey Zetta Eliott–how about another article from you for our pages on this subject? A number of commenters have suggested that the Horn Book begin a column highlighting the […]

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An open letter to the self-published author feeling dissed.

An open letter to the self-published author feeling dissed.

Dear self-published author: I can imagine how frustrating it is to have your book refused possible review coverage by the Horn Book simply because it is self-published. But here is why that situation is unlikely to change anytime soon. If we met at a party or something, I, and I think my colleagues at the […]

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Early Learning recap

Early Learning recap

SLJ has posted a report of Martha and my presentation in Ohio last week of what makes  for a good preschool book. Look for Kevin Henkes’ excellent speech from that event on our site on Monday.

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Cause to celebrate?

Cause to celebrate?

If it’s time for Banned Books Week it’s also time for my annual bucket ‘o scorn for ALA’s  cynical exercise in spin. Like Bette Davis in Storm Center, “I’m tired. I’m tired and beaten. There’s no use pretending.” Now Davis, playing a beleaguered librarian trying to uphold the freedom to read in McCarthy’s America, was […]

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Cause to celebrate?

If it’s time for Banned Books Week it’s also time for my annual bucket ‘o scorn for ALA’s  cynical exercise in spin. Like Bette Davis in Storm Center, “I’m tired. I’m tired and beaten. There’s no use pretending.” Now Davis, playing a beleaguered librarian trying to uphold the freedom to read in McCarthy’s America, was […]

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Does one size fit all?

Does one size fit all?

Leonard Marcus gave a swell talk about Robert McCloskey last night, but what’s really sticking with me is a response he gave to a question at the end about ebooks. Size matters, he essentially said, when it comes to picture books and other books for young children. Of course, we all know this, but I […]

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The Babyfication of Our Youth

The Babyfication of Our Youth

Just a little rant here–Martha Parravano and I are preparing a talk for next week’s Fostering Lifelong Learners conference in Ohio, and the other day we visited the Children’s Book Shop for some titles we wanted to share but couldn’t find in the office.  I was struck by the number of picture book titles for […]

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Children’s Books Boston reminder

Children’s Books Boston reminder

Don’t forget the Children’s Books Boston get-together tomorrow, 5:30 to 8, at the Simmons College Paresky Center, 300 The Fenway. We request a five-dollar donation to cover refreshments, and attendees are invited to bring a children’s book to swap. RSVP here.

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HBAS shout-out

HBAS shout-out

Another reminder (before the price goes up): register now for the 2014 Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium, October 10-11 here in Boston. Come and hear our speakers Mind the Gaps as we bang on about what’s happening–and what’s missing– in children’s and YA books and reading today. (I just saw the aggregative term “CYA literature” […]

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Marcus and McCloskey

Marcus and McCloskey

Leonard S. Marcus, whose look at Robert McCloskey’s emergence as an illustrator appears in our current issue, will be speaking on the occasion of the illustrator’s hundredth  anniversary at the Cambridge Public Library on Monday, September 15th at 7:00PM. The Horn Book is happy to co-sponsor this event, and Porter Square Books will be on […]

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Calling Caldecott is open for business

Calling Caldecott is open for business

Lolly, Martha, and Robin are back (and for the friend to whom I defended the Oxford comma this weekend, THERE’S WHY) with this year’s edition of Calling Caldecott, in which we look without fear or favor at contenders for this picture book prize. They are looking for likely suspects–go help them out.

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Party down

Party down

Children’s Books Boston invites you to our second annual fall get-together on Thursday, September 11 from 5:30PM to 8PM in the Paresky Center at Simmons College. We perhaps wisely decided against trust falls as an ice-breaking activity; instead, all attendees are invited to bring a children’s book for exchange. A five dollar donation (cash only) […]

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The Empire Strikes Back

The Empire Strikes Back

ALSC Past-President Starr LaTronica responds to my July editorial. Incidentally, we’re publishing a terrific piece in the November issue by Thom Barthelmess (former ALSC prez and BGHB chair) about how to conduct oneself in a professional book discussion. Thom is far more temperate about these things than am I.

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Do you read your reviews?

Do you read your reviews?

I’ve been reading soprano Barbara Hendricks‘s memoir, Lifting My Voice, and it’s led me not only to a rewarding reacquaintance with her singing but to some thinking about the relationship between the artist and the critic. Hendricks spills a suspicious amount of ink over how she doesn’t pay any attention to critics (whose opinions of her […]

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Magic School

Magic School

Continuing my adventures in books for boys grown big, I’m reading Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, which I somehow missed when it came out and only noticed on the recent publication of a second sequel. It’s a story about a nice boy who thinks he’s on the way to Princeton but winds up in magic school […]

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Why The Face? I’ll tell you.

Why The Face? I’ll tell you.

I just finished David Shafer’s thriller Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, which I read because of Dwight Garner’s NYT review. The book is everything Garner says it is–bright, popping, funny, suspenseful. And it has all the things I love: complicated heroes and heroines, smart riffs on contemporary memes, and–best of all–a global conspiracy that really is out to […]

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There’s bold but then there’s brazen.

There’s bold but then there’s brazen.

So much trouble in this world could be avoided if we all simply shutted up when we did not know whereof we spoke but here I go. I have never read Alfred Ollivant’s Bob, Son of Battle, but Lydia Davis’s explanation of the changes she made for a new New York Review of Books edition […]

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Keep Manhattan

Keep Manhattan

When I was invited to visit with the 2014 Sendak Fellows at Maurice’s farm, I thought it would be, you know, a “farm,” AKA a rurally situated but otherwise urbane getaway retreat. But it was an actual farming farm with rows of vegetables and corn and a tractor and silo and chickens.  Sendak’s longtime assistant […]

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Starred reviews, September/October Horn Book Magazine

Starred reviews, September/October Horn Book Magazine

The following books will receive starred reviews in the September/October issue of the Magazine: Draw!; written and illustrated by Raúl Colón (Wiseman/Simon) The Lion and the Bird; written and illustrated by Marianne Dubuc; trans. from the French by Claudia Z. Bedrick (Enchanted Lion) Viva Frida; by Yuyi Morales; illus. by the author with photos by Tim O’Meara (Porter/Roaring Brook) Bow-Wow’s […]

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Chicks ‘n ducks ‘n geese

Chicks ‘n ducks ‘n geese

We’re off tomorrow to spend a few days with the Sendak Fellows, Nora Krug and Harry Bliss, at a farm Maurice owned in upstate New York. (Why did he need a farm? Did he need a place to get away from it all from his place to get away from it all in the wilds […]

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