2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards

The winners of the 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards were announced on May 27th during SLJ’s virtual Day of Dialog. A winner and two honor books were selected in each of the three categories. Here are the winners:


Saturday by Oge Mora


King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender


Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace by Ashley Bryan


Birdsong by Julie Flett

Pokko and the Drum by Matthew Forsythe


Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller


Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir by Nikki Grimes

It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way written by Kyo Maclear; illustrated by Julie Morstad

News to Wake Your Brain Cells – May 29


5 children’s books about Latina trailblazers – Book Riot

BookExpo 2020: Tuning into children’s book coverage – Publishers Weekly

Little House, Big Problem: What to do with “Classic” books that are also racist – SLJ


Is it safe to go back to my local library? – Boston City Life

Librarians recruited as COVID-19 hunters – American Libraries

Libraries must change – New York Times


The 20 most anticipated YA books to read in June – Epic Reads

Neal Shusterman’s inclusive YA and talking to the author about representation – Book Riot

St. Paul author stunned by success of genre-jumping “CatNet” – Twin Cities Pioneer Press

Publishers Weekly Summer Reads 2020

Publishers Weekly has released their list of summer reads for the season. They include a list of children’s titles from picture books through YA. Here are the books that they picked:


Hello Neighbor! The Kind and Caring World of Mister Rogers by Matthew Cordell

Jules vs. the Ocean by Jessie Sima

Lift by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat

Outside In by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Cindy Derby

Prairie Days by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Micha Archer

You Matter by Christian Robinson


Chance: Escape from the Holocaust by Uri Shulevitz

Ikenga by Nnedi Okorafor

The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Patricia Castelao

Sal & Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley

We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly


Again Again by E. Lockhart

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

A Peculiar Peril by Jeff VanderMeer

Parachutes by Kelly Yang

The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity by Amy Alznauer

The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity by Amy Alznauer

The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity: A Tale of the Genius Ramanujan by Amy Alznauer, illustrated by Daniel Miyares (9780763690489)

This is the story of an amazing mathematical genius who was born in India in 1887. He sees math everywhere, contemplating what small and big actually meant. When he started school, the teacher was not interested in his questions, so Ramanujan got bored and tried to sneak away to think his own thoughts. He wondered about the infinity possible in ordinary objects like mango that can be sliced again and again. Doing sums at school, he figured out the sums inside the sums they were doing, once again breaking things down. As he grows up, he reinvents mathematics, working from college textbooks and solving all of the problems. Still, he is just an unknown person in India, how can he find someone who understands what he is doing?

The joy of discovering Ramanujan’s math is that even for children or those who are not mathematically inclined, his theories resonate and encourage everyone to start thinking beyond the strictness of school math. Alznauer pays homage to this great genius, showing how he grew up, how he thought and how he was misunderstood for a very long time until being discovered by mathematicians in England.

The art is done in ink that flows at times like watercolors. Miyares captures the glow of invention, the heat of imagination in his illustrations. He also shows the solitude of Ramanujan in a captivating way.

Rich and fascinating, this picture book biography opens new worlds of mathematics to its readers. Appropriate for ages 6-9.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Candlewick.

2020 Environment Award for Children’s Literature Shortlist

The shortlist for the Australian 2020 Environment Award for Children’s Literature has been announced. Awarded by the Wilderness Society of Australia, the award for children’s nature writing has been around since 1994. Here is the shortlist:

Microbat Mayhem (Eco Rangers, #2)

Eco Rangers: Microbat Mayhem by Candice Lemon-Scott; illustrated by Aśka

Explore Your World: Weird, Wild, Amazing!

Explore Your World: Weird, Wild, Amazing! by Tim Flannery; illustrated by Sam Caldwell

The Fate of Fausto

The Fate of Fausto by Oliver Jeffers

Fauna: Australia's most curious creatures

Fauna: Australia’s Most Curious Creatures by Tania McCartney

A Hollow Is a Home

A Hollow is a Home by Abbie Mitchell; illustrated by Astred Hicks

One careless night

One Careless Night by Christina Booth

One Tree

One Tree by Christopher Cheng; illustrated by Bruce Whatley

Ocean's Revenge (Super Sidekicks, #2)

Super Sidekicks 2: Ocean’s Revenge by Gavin Aung Than


Wilam by Andrew Kelly and Aunty Joy Murphy, illustrated by Lisa Kennedy

You Can Change the World

You Can Change the World by Lucy Bell; illustrated by Astred Hicks

Once Upon an Eid edited by S. K. Ali and Aisha Saeed

Once Upon an Eid edited by S. K. Ali and Aisha Saeed

Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices edited by S. K. Ali and Aisha Saeed, illustrated by Iman Rasheed (9781419740831)

Edited by two award-winning Muslim authors, this collection of short stories focus upon the celebration of Eid. The stories come from a variety of Muslim sects, cultures and backgrounds, offering a beautiful look at the expansive nature of the Muslim religion. The stories keep a focus on eleven and twelve year olds, many of whom are just starting to fast and many who discover the deeper meaning of Eid as they find a path through fasting as well. The stories also deal with deep issues such as divorce, friendships, hijabs, generosity, and family dynamics. At their heart though, each one is a positive force about seeing possibilities anew, finding ways to connect with one another, and pure joy.

The different voices and perspectives here provide a rainbow of experiences for children who are Muslim to relate to and those who are not to more deeply understand this religion. The positivity is uplifting and lovely to read, particularly during a pandemic. I don’t think it could have been better timed, frankly.

A winner of a short-story anthology, take hope and joy from this book. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from copy provided by Amulet.

2020 Booksellers’ Choice Book of the Year Longlists

The longlists for the Australian Booksellers Association’s 2020 Booksellers’ Choice Book of the Year Awards have been announced. For the first time, the awards will be presented in three categories rather than one title from any category. Shortlists will be announced on June 4th and winners on July 8th.

Here are the longlisted titles in the children’s books of the year category:

All of the Factors of Why I Love Tractors

All the Factors of Why I Love Tractors by Davina Bell, illus by Jenny Lovlie

As Happy as Here

As Happy As Here by Jane Godwin

Bluey: The Beach: A Lift-the-Flap Book

Bluey: The Beach

Woo's Wonderful World of Maths

Eddie Woo’s Wonderful World of Maths by Eddie Woo

Explore Your World: Weird, Wild, Amazing!

Explore Your World: Weird, Wild, Amazing by Tim Flannery, illus by Sam Caldwell

The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals

Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals by Sami Bayly

It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood

Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street: a collection of recipes to share

Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street by Felicita Sala

Mr Chicken All Over Australia

Mr. Chicken All Over Australia by Leigh Hobbs

Sick Bay

Sick Bay by Nova Weetman

The Tiny Star

The Tiny Star by Mem Fox, illus by Freya Blackwood

Young Dark Emu

Young Dark Emu: A Truer History by Bruce Pascoe


Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford

Box Henry Brown Makes Himself to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford

Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Michele Wood (9780763691561)

Told in brief poems, this nonfiction picture book explores a daring escape to freedom in the face of loss and brutality. Born in 1815, Henry Brown was born into slavery in Richmond, Virginia. He worked from the time he was a small child, passed from one generation of his owners to the next. Despite a series of promises by various owners, Henry Brown’s family is sold away from him multiple times, even when he paid money to keep them near. Hearing of the Underground Railroad, he decides to make a dangerous escape to the North, mailing himself in a wooden box.

Weatherford builds box after box in her poetry where each six-lined poem represents the number of sides of Henry Brown’s box. Each of the poems also shows the structure of oppression and the trap that slavery sets for those caught within it. Still, at times her voice soars into hope, still within the limits she has created but unable to be bound.

Wood’s illustrations are incredibly powerful, a great match to the words. She has used a color palette representative of the time period, creating her art in mixed media. The images are deeply textured, moving through a variety of emotions as the book continues. The portraiture is intensely done, each character looking right at the reader as if pleading to be seen.

Two Coretta Scott King winners collaborate to create this powerful book about courage, resilience and freedom. Appropriate for ages 7-10.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Candlewick.

Cat Dog Dog by Nelly Buchet

Cat Dog Dog by Nelly Buchet

Cat Dog Dog by Nelly Buchet, illustrated by Andrea Zuill (9781984848994)

Dog lives all alone with his owner. He has his own toys, his own elaborate bed, his own food and his owner all to himself. A different Dog lives with Cat and their owner. The two of them may not always get along, but they are a family. So when the independent first Dog moves in with Cat and Dog, things don’t go smoothly. Cat hisses, dogs growl over food, and no one sleeps well at first. Then an open window accident leads to the three animals spending some healing time together. After that, the three are Cat Dog Dog, all the time. But another surprise in on the way!

This picture book is told entirely in two words: Dog and Cat. It is the illustrations that tell the story of the relationships between all of the characters. The illustrations are filled with small touches like the moving boxes steadily getting more dominant and the various sleeping places that no one is pleased with. They also show the emotional state of each of the pets, from exasperation to surprise to tolerance.

Funny and honest, this picture book looks at blended families in a way that speaks to both pets and people. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Schwartz & Wade.