Thursday, May 14, 2015

A "Horn Book"...Postview?

The May/June Horn Book has arrived in my home. Yes, I am still reading the March/April issue. You know me so well. So this is hardly a preview.

Some Favorite Horn Book Articles

Mind the Gaps: Books for All Young Readers by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson This was Nelson's keynote address at a Horn Book at Simmons colloquium last fall. It deals with the issue of diversity in children's literature. Why is it needed? "Children believe in story only if they've experienced the magic of living in one. This may never happen to young readers with few opportunities to see themselves in the books they read." Nelson raises a wonderful point. It's not enough to publish diverse books. Those books need to get to child readers. Do they? (I'm asking that last question.)

Designing Woman: The Achievement of Atha Tehon by Leonad S. Marcus This is another one of those "women in children's publishing" articles that The Horn Book does from time to time. I sometimes find them a little, well, Cult of the Childlit Woman Warrior for my taste. But this one was written by Leonard Marcus, who should be the center of a cult himself. He does more than just place Tehon on a pedestal. While writing about her, he writes about why book design matters.

Some Favorite Horn Book Reviews


Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman

I Don't Like Koala by Sean Ferrell with illustrations by Charles Santoso

Grandma in Blue with Red Hat by Scott Menchin with illustrations by Harry Bliss 

The Tight Rope Walkers by David Almond


And that is as far as I've gone with my reading.



Ms. Yingling said...

I don't read Horn Book, unless my best friend gives me her copies. Too much groupthink for my taste! Perhaps I am not missing very much.

Gail Gauthier said...

With the articles or the reviews?

I can see someone feeling there's a "We're a happy children's publishing family" tone to the publication overall, especially with the special award issues that include acceptance speeches that tend to be about how great the children's publishing community is and happy, happy articles about the winners. But Roger Sutton's editorials balance that. He will comment on controversies or admit he's not fond of a particular popular series or trend.

He's made some very interesting and open editorial choices over the years about articles he's published, too. I can remember one by a librarian who had grown up in a fundamentalist family. She could address their mind-set about objecting to books in a way that was not adversarial. He also once published an article about children's books about hunting. Again, not at all adversarial. The author accepted that hunting is a reading interest for children growing up in hunting cultures. And we do have them in this country.

Hmm. It's as if there's a little something subversive going on there.

I will be thinking of you when I read the next issue and do my next Horn Book post. What does Karen need to know about here?