To say that interviewing Ursula Nordstrom, Harper's legendary publisher of cutting-edge book for children and teens, was a challenge would be a major understatement; more than a decade would pass before I realized that she had revealed the very essence of her editorial wizardry to me that day.
This fall, Leonard joined New York Public librarian Jenny Rosenoff and illustrator Bryan Collier in selecting the year's ten best illustrated children's books of 2018. The daunting process took place over a single day in October, in a room at the Times' headquarters in which approximately 2000 [...]
Helen Oxenbury: A Life in Illustration to be simultaneously published in the UK and China on November 1, 2018
Helen Oxenbury is a picture book artist in the grand English tradition of Beatrix Potter and Edward Ardizzone. Her career spans five eventful decades during which books for the youngest ages like hers finally came into their own and children’s book publishing became a global enterprise. [...]
Each morning for a week starting on October 29, Leonard gave a series of illustrated lectures at Ocean University, in Qingdao, China, chronicling the origins and history of the American picture book. Audience members included students and faculty in the university's children's literature [...]
This fall Leonard was one of five judges invited to select 100 notable picture books for display at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The project was sponsored by dPictus, a web-based rights showcase featuring contemporary books from Europe, the Americas, and Asia.
Leonard asks why some children's books are too good to be forgotten in this occasional series of conversations with authors, illustrators, and another book people;
Ursula Nordstrom, Harper’s visionary publisher of “good books for bad children,” is now the subject of a comics tribute by illustrator Joana Avillez. It appeared on the back page of the New York Times Book Review as Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom reached its [...]
Most everyone has fallen under the magnetic spell of the American illustrator Garth Williams (1912-1996) at one time or another: as childhood readers, as parents or grandparents, or as professionals concerned with young people and their books. Charlotte’s Web? The Little House on the [...]
Rediscover the magic of "A Wrinkle in Time" and its sequels in Library of America's deluxe, two-volume collector’s edition boxed set, available on September 4, 2018. For the first time, L’Engle’s iconic classic and all seven of its sequels—the complete Kairos (“cosmic time”) novels—will be [...]
Alice was one of the most memorable illustrators of our time, both singly and in collaboration with her late husband Martin. When I interviewed her for my book Side by Side and asked her exactly who had done what in the creation of the many books that she and Martin worked on closely together, [...]
The recent NYU symposium: "Telling Lives: A Closer Look at Picture Book Biography" drew a lively and engaged audience of writers, illustrators, publishers, educators, librarians, and NYU students and staff. Publishers Weekly was there too, and here is their report on the morning's events.
Launched in the fall of 1952, just as New York was becoming the art and design capital of the world, the Times awards were America's first international prize for children's book illustration. Taking a closer look at the books from the US, Europe, Asia, and Latin America that the Times has [...]
Wilder biographer Caroline Fraser reflects on the changing meaning of children's books from past generations, and on how best to deal with books that strike readers today as historically ignorant, culturally tone-deaf, or worse.
One of children's book publishing's most vibrant genres--the picture book biography--will be explored in depth at NYU in this free morning-long symposium that is open to all. On Friday April 13th, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The new Disney film based on Madeleine L'Engle's best-loved novel has led fans back to the book itself and to the question of just who was the author who so deftly intertwined elements of science fiction, spirituality, fantasy, and family drama in a tautly constructed coming-of-age story that [...]
A lifelong bookworm and unapologetic generalist, Regina Hayes, who led Viking Children’s Books from 1982 to 2012 and is now a Viking editor at large, has ranged widely across genres in an action-packed career marked by intense curiosity, quiet, persistent daring, and a firm grasp of the world [...]