FIND A BOOK

Wendell Minor’s America by Norman Rockwell Museum
Illustrated by Wendell Minor

Every now and then on the Almanac, I like to discuss a book about children’s books, written for adults. Today, for Read a New Book Month, the Almanac features Wendell Minor’s America: 25 Years of Children’s Book Art, published by the Norman Rockwell Museum in conjunction with their current Wendell Minor exhibit. In this gorgeous […]

Animals, Art, History
Featured on December 9, 2013

Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems by Jack Prelutsky
Illustrated by Carin Berger

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Happy April Fools’ Day! As someone quite gullible, I find this day taxing. But since April is also Poetry Month, I have a reason to celebrate today. In a new offering that will appeal to both adults and children, Jack Prelutsky has teamed up with the talented Carin Berger to create a book that provides […]

Animals, Art, Science
Featured on April 1, 2013

The Shrinking of Treehorn by Florence Parry Heide
Illustrated by Edward Gorey

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Born in Chicago on February 22, 1925, Edward St. John Gorey briefly attended the Art Institute of Chicago but actually received a B.A. from Harvard in French. He began his career as a book jacket designer and became a staff artist at Doubleday. Around that time, Gorey started publishing illustrated tales, often under a pseudonym, […]

Art, Family
Featured on February 22, 2013

The Tree House by Marije Tolman and Ronald Tolman

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In the first week in February, we celebrate Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week. Of course, on the Almanac I celebrate them every day of the year. But still I appreciate a week where everyone can focus on these extraordinary people. After being in the field for more than forty years, I love finding an author-illustrator […]

Animals, Art, Award Winning
Featured on February 4, 2013

Stories 1 2 3 4 by Eugène Ionesco
Illustrated by Etienne Delessert

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Today illustrator Etienne Delessert celebrates his birthday—he has been creating children’s books for more than fifty years. When I was a young critic in the 1970s, the avant guard of illustration consisted of Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are), Tomi Ungerer (No Kiss for Mother), Edward Gorey (The Shrinking of Treehorn), and Etienne Delessert, […]

Art, Bedtime, Imagination, Trendsetting
Featured on January 4, 2013

Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals by Ed Emberley

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Today marks the birthday of Ed Emberley. Ed was born in Malden, Massachusetts, graduated from the Massachusetts School of Art, and then painted signs for the army and worked in commercial illustration. In the late fifties he began publishing books with the then-Boston firm of Little Brown and Company. For Ed Emberley, working on books […]

Animals, Art, Nature
Featured on October 19, 2012

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Jon Klassen

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During August many individuals visit one of the hundreds of arts and crafts fairs held around the country. Whether you are going to the Festival of the Hills in St. Louis or looking forward to the Minnesota State Fair for its crafts exhibits, you should pick up one of the best celebrations of the art […]

Art, Clothing, Imagination
Featured on August 13, 2012

The Three Robbers by Tomi Ungerer

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Today we celebrate the birthday of one of the most original, and certainly most creative, members of the children’s book community. Tomi Ungerer was born in Strausbourg, France in 1931, and knew both poverty and tragedy at an early age. His father died when he was three. Then, because of economic hardship during the Great […]

Art
Featured on November 28, 2011

Robin Hood and His Adventures by Paul Creswick
Illustrated by N. C. Wyeth

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Born on October 22, 1882, in Needham, Massachusetts, Newel Convers Wyeth was raised on a family farm that dated from 1730. As a young man he fell under the tutelage of Howard Pyle, the great children’s book illustrator of his era, and became the advocate of the principles of book illustration taught at Pyle’s Brandywine […]

Art, England, History
Featured on October 22, 2011

Art Dog by Thacher Hurd

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For National Dog Week, which began yesterday, I’d like to look at a highly original and amusing protagonist, Thacher Hurd’s Art Dog.  In terms of children’s book, Thacher Hurd has lived a charmed life. He was the son of not only one, but two, great children’s book creators—writer Edith Thacher Hurd and artist Clement Hurd, […]

Animals, Art, Dogs
Featured on September 23, 2011

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith

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Since 1978 the first Sunday after Labor Day has been celebrated as National Grandparents Day to encourage grandchildren to tap into the wisdom and heritage of their grandparents. Encapsulating both the spirit and the intent of this holiday, our book-of-the-day is Grandpa Green by Lane Smith. As editor of The Horn Book Magazine I watched […]

Art, Gardening, Imagination
Featured on September 11, 2011

Pompeii Lost and Found by Mary Pope Osborne
Illustrated by Bonnie Christensen

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On this day in 79 A.D. an active volcano in southern Italy, Mount Vesuvius, erupted and destroyed the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Escaping the disaster, Pliny the Younger wrote:   “[B]lack and horrible clouds, broken by sinuous shapes of flaming winds, were opening with long tongues of fire.” What a stylist! Modern authors can […]

Ancient, Art, History
Featured on August 24, 2011

Words to My Life’s Song by Ashley Bryan

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Today marks a very special birthday: the 88th of author and illustrator Ashley Bryan. Born in Harlem and raised in the Bronx, Ashley has lived on an island off the coast of Maine for years. He gets to stay there less than he might like, because he is in so much demand as a speaker. […]

20th Century, African American, Art, Award Winning, History, Multicultural
Featured on July 13, 2011

Zoo-ology by Joëlle Jolivet

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On July 1, 1874, the first zoo in the United States opened its doors to visitors in Philadelphia. A quarter for adults and a dime for children allowed visitors to view 813 animals housed there. Three thousand people traveled by foot, horse and buggy, or steamboat to look at the wonders. Thousands of books about […]

Art, Nature, Science, Zoology
Featured on July 1, 2011

Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt

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On April 26, 1795, John James Audubon, naturalist and painter, was born on his father’s sugar plantation in Haiti. He would become famous in his adopted country, the newly formed United States, for setting out to paint, catalogue, and gain an encyclopedic understanding of its winged creatures. A copy of Audubon’s Birds of America recently […]

Art, History, Nature
Featured on April 26, 2011

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
Illustrated by Brett Helquist

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March has been designated Youth Art Month, set aside to promote art and art education in the United States. The perfect book to celebrate the month, Blue Balliett’s Chasing Vermeer, published in 2005, contains all the necessary elements to get young people thinking about art and artists. Set at the University School in Hyde Park, […]

Art, School
Featured on March 29, 2011

Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill
Illustrated by Bryan Collier

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March has been designated Arts and Crafts Month. History, as the saying goes, is written by the winners. The disenfranchised, those who struggled for recognition, left few clues for those who read the record of history. That is one of the reasons why Laban Carrick Hill’s Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave is such an important […]

African American, Art, Award Winning, Caldecott, Multicultural
Featured on March 8, 2011

Tintin by Hergé

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On March 3, 1983, one of Belgium’s most famous citizens, Hergé, died at the age of seventy five. Over the years his adventure stories have been translated into more than thirty languages and have made the brave and resourceful snub-nosed reporter Tintin and his fox terrier Snowy popular with both adults and children around the […]

Art, Geography, History, Politics
Featured on March 3, 2011

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

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Today in 1872 the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its doors for the first time. Founded by a group of businessmen and financiers, the Met was established to bring art and art education to Americans. Over the years, many families, school classes, and children have visited the magnificent collection. But it wasn’t until 1967 that […]

Adventure, Art, Award Winning, Humor, Newbery, Survival
Featured on February 20, 2011

Simms Taback by Simms Taback

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Today marks the birthday of one of our most innovative illustrators and Caldecott winners, Simms Taback. When Simms won the award in 2000 for Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, so many members of the illustration community delighted in this news not only because they had long admired his work but also because he had worked […]

Art, Award Winning, Caldecott, Humor, Jewish, Multicultural, Music
Featured on February 13, 2011

A Nest for Celeste by Henry Cole

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In February of 1896 the Massachusetts Audubon Society was founded, the beginning of the current national organization. It was established to protect birds and to discourage the women of the era from wearing bird plumes in their hats. The man honored by the name of the organization, John J. Audubon, has been the focus of […]

19th century, Animals, Art, History, Mice, Nature, Science, Zoology
Featured on February 11, 2011

Action Jackson by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan
Illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker

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Today marks the birthday of Jackson Pollock, the American painter born in 1912 in Cody, Wyoming. Killed in an automobile accident in 1956, Pollock struggled with alcoholism and depression and has been the subject of hundreds of adult studies, biographies, and movies. Given his lifestyle, he does not seem a natural subject for a picture […]

Art
Featured on January 28, 2011

Art & Max by David Wiesner

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December has been designated Read a New Book Month. And, of course, in December for one holiday or another, children often receive books as presents. If I wanted to pick a new picture book for ages four to ten that’s perfect for gift giving, I would recommend the new offering by three-time Caldecott winner David […]

Animals, Art
Featured on December 11, 2010

Masterpiece by Elise Broach
Illustrated by Kelly Murphy

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Today I’m focusing on another book for National Young Reader’s Week, one of the relatively new titles I think is destined to become a classic. A mystery and suspense novel, it also presents the work of Albrecht Durer, painter and printmaker, to young readers in grades three through six. Precocious as a child because of […]

Adventure, Animals, Art, Insects
Featured on November 12, 2010

Daily children’s book recommendations and events from Anita Silvey.

Discover the stories behind the children’s book classics . . .

The new books on their way to becoming classics . . .

And events from the world of children’s books—and the world at large.