Children’s Books

Slavery with a smile?

Children’s Books of the Year | The birthday cake that became a conflagration
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 4/29/16, 01:00 am

When George Washington celebrated his first birthday as president of the United States, he couldn’t have known that a children’s story about his favorite cake would one day rock the publishing world and lead to the actual banning—not just censoring—of a picture book.

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Matt Rose

Children's Books of the Year

Children’s Books of the Year | These stories of magic, mystery, and providence are best read through the eyes of a child
by Janie B. Cheaney & Susan Olasky
Posted 4/29/16, 01:00 am

Circus Mirandus is WORLD’s 2016 Children’s Novel of the Year. Out of the Woods is our Picture Book of the Year. Those are the picks of two WORLD committees that sifted through dozens of books and engaged in spirited debates.

Later in this special section we display books that made the shortlist in each category, chart some top nonfiction books for ages 10-15, discuss depictions of slavery in children’s books and audio dramas, and profile John R. Erickson, author of the long-running and hugely popular Hank the Cowdog series.

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Marvin Olasky

The cowboy in autumn

Children’s Books of the Year | Spending a week with Hank the Cowdog creator John R. Erickson
by Marvin Olasky
Posted 4/29/16, 01:00 am

John R. Erickson, author of 67 hugely popular Hank the Cowdog books, lives in the Texas Panhandle on a 9-square-mile ranch 7 miles from his nearest neighbor and 19 miles from the second closest. Here’s what a week last October with him and his wife of 46 years, Kris, was like.

ON MONDAY we saw an intense contrast between Erickson’s ruggedly beautiful ranch—“a lot of wildlife, water, native trees, a lot of solitude”—and life in a commercial world with little solitude.

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