Boy, is that an ominous word or what? Our deadline for review completion is next Tuesday, for the January/February issue. This deadline is particularly fraught, as in the January issue we also publish "Fanfare," our best books of the year list, and thus must by then have dealt with each of the books published in 2005 one way or the other. There's a bit of catch-up involved, and I always worry that we're going to miss the Newbery or Caldecott, (which will be announced on January 23rd next year). It's one thing to miss a prizewinner with forethought ("I don't care if this wins the Newbery, Caldecott, Printz AND the Pulitzer, I still don't like it") and quite another to simply miss it.
The Horn Book Magazine reviews mostly books it likes a lot, which comes to about eight hundred titles a year. But if you look at the Horn Book Guide, which reviews all (the good, the bad, and the ugly) new hardcovers from established publishers, you'll see that there are maybe not thousands, but at least a thousand more books we think are just fine in any given year. The line between the good and the very good is the hardest one to define, I think--and don't even get me started on the great.