Boston Globe Horn Book Picture Books

First presented in 1967 and customarily announced in June, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards are among the most prestigious honors in the field of children’s and young adult literature.

Winners are selected in three categories: Picture Book, Fiction and Poetry, and Nonfiction. Two Honor Books may be named in each category.

The winning titles must be published in the United States but they may be written or illustrated by citizens of any country. The awards are chosen by an independent panel of three judges who are annually appointed by the Editor of the Horn Book.

Fiction | Nonfiction | Picture Book

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Author: Jillian Tamaki
2018 Boston Globe Horn Book -- Picture Books - Winner

In captivating paintings full of movement and transformation, Tamaki follows a young girl through a year or a day as she examines the colors in the world around her. Egg yolks are sunny orange as expected, yet water cupped in her hands isn't blue like they say. But maybe a blue whale is blue. She doesn't know, she hasn't seen one. Playful and philosophical, They Say Blue is a book about color as well as perspective, about the things we can see and the things we can only wonder at.

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Author: Julie Fogliano
2018 Boston Globe Horn Book -- Picture Books - Honor

Illustrated by Christian Robinson

In this enthusiastic celebration of all things BIRTHDAY, acclaimed author Julie Fogliano and award-winning illustrator Christian Robinson bring you the perfect birthday book Join our excited narrator as she lists all the things that will make her birthday the BEST birthday.

 

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Author: Bao Phi
2018 Boston Globe Horn Book -- Picture Books - Honor

Illustrated by Thi Bui

A 2018 Caldecott Honor Book that Kirkus Reviews calls "a must-read for our times," A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event - a long-ago fishing trip. Graphic novelist Thi Bui and acclaimed poet Bao Phi deliver a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son - and between cultures, old and new. As a young boy, Bao and his father awoke early, hours before his father's long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao's father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. Thi Bui's striking, evocative art paired with Phi's expertly crafted prose has earned this powerful picture books six starred reviews and numerous awards.

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Author: Ashley Bryan
2017 Boston Globe Horn Book -- Picture Books - Winner

Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, contrasts the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away

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Author: Joaane Schwartz
2017 Boston Globe Horn Book -- Picture Books - Honor

A young boy wakes up to the sound of the sea, visits his grandfather's grave after lunch and comes home to a simple family dinner, but all the while his mind strays to his father digging for coal deep down under the sea. Stunning illustrations by Sydney Smith, the award-winning illustrator of Sidewalk Flowers, show the striking contrast between a sparkling seaside day and the darkness underground where the miners dig.

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Author: Matthew Cordell
2017 Boston Globe Horn Book -- Picture Books - Honor

A girl is lost in a snowstorm. A wolf cub is lost, too. How will they find their way home?

Paintings rich with feeling tell this satisfying story of friendship and trust. Here is a book set on a wintry night that will spark imaginations and warm hearts, from Matthew Cordell, author of Trouble Gum and Another Brother.

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Author: Francis Vallejo
2016 Boston Globe Horn Book -- Picture Books - Winner
When "Esquire "magazine planned an issue to salute the American jazz scene in 1958, graphic designer Art Kane pitched a crazy idea: how about gathering a group of beloved jazz musicians and photographing them? He didn't own a good camera, didn't know if any musicians would show up, and insisted on setting up the shoot in front of a Harlem brownstone. Could he pull it off? In a captivating collection of poems, Roxane Orgill steps into the frame of "Harlem 1958, " bringing to life the musicians mischief and quirks, their memorable style, and the vivacious atmosphere of a Harlem block full of kids on a hot summer's day. Francis Vallejo's vibrant, detailed, and wonderfully expressive paintings do loving justice to the larger-than-life quality of jazz musicians of the era. Includes bios of several of the fifty-seven musicians, an author's note, sources, a bibliography, and a foldout of Art Kane's famous photograph."
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Author: Rebecca Kai Dotlich
2016 Boston Globe Horn Book -- Picture Books - Honor
One day. . . I went to school. I came home. The end, says our storytellera girl with a busy imagination and a thirst for adventure. The art tells a fuller tale of calamity on the way to school and an unpredictably happy ending. The genius of this picture book is that each illustration captures multiple, unexpected, and funny storylines as the narrator tells her shorter-than-ever stories, ending with One day. . . I wanted to write a book. An original and incredibly deep combination of text and art invites readers to make up stories of their own."
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Author: Sheman Alexie
2016 Boston Globe Horn Book -- Picture Books - Honor

Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that's all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn't mean he wants to be Little Thunder. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he's done, like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder.

But just when Thunder Boy Jr. thinks all hope is lost, he and his dad pick the perfect name...a name that is sure to light up the sky.

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Author: Marla Frazee
2015 Boston Globe Horn Book -- Picture Books - Winner

Whimsical and touching images tell the story of an unexpected friendship and the revelations it inspires in this moving, wordless picture book from two-time Caldecott Honor medalist Marla Frazee.

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Author: Jon Agee
2015 Boston Globe Horn Book -- Picture Books - Honor

Fans of Jon Klassen and Oliver Jeffers will love this mischievously funny read-aloud from award-winning author/illustrator Jon Agee.

Mysterious noises keep waking up the Wimbledon family. "That's very odd," says Mr. Wimbledon each time, but when he returns from checking on the sounds, he's always reassuring: "It's only Stanley; he's fixing the oil tank." "It's only Stanley; he's clearing the bathtub drain."

But what Stanley the dog is actually doing while his oblivious family goes back to bed is deliciously absurd: he's turning the house into a rocket ship to zoom himself and his family to another planet for an alien encounter. This is a perfect rhyming read-aloud for fans of irreverent tales like"Click Clack Moo" and"I Want My Hat Back.""

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Author: Oliver Jeffers
2015 Boston Globe Horn Book -- Picture Books - Honor

Jeffers, the #1 "New York Times"-bestselling illustrator of "The Day the Crayons Quit, " delivers a creative tour de force from A through Z. Slyly funny and gorgeously illustrated, this series of interconnected stories and characters explores the alphabet in a way that will forever raise the bar. Full color.

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Author: Peter Brown
2014 Boston Globe Horn Book -- Picture Books - Winner
Bored with city life and the proper behavior it requires, Mr. Tiger has a wild idea that leads him to discover his true nature.
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Author: Daniel Beaty
2014 Boston Globe Horn Book -- Picture Books - Honor
A boy wakes up one morning to find his father gone. At first, he feels lost. But his father has left him a letter filled with advice to guide him through the times he cannot be there
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Author: Shaun Tan
2014 Boston Globe Horn Book -- Picture Books - Honor
Two boys explain the occasionally mysterious "rules" they learned over the summer, like never eat the last olive at a party, never ruin a perfect plan, and never give your keys to a stranger.