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Archives for November 2011

January/February starred reviews

The following books will receive starred reviews in the January/February 2012 issue of the Horn Book Magazine.     Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett; illus. by Jon Klassen (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins) Little Dog Lost: The True Story of a Brave Dog Named Baltic by Mônica Carnesi (Paulsen/Penguin)   And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano; […]

Review of First Day on Earth

First Day on Earth by Cecil Castellucci Middle School, High School    Scholastic    150 pp. 11/11    978-0-545-06082-0    $17.99 “Why is the hardest question in the world to answer.” And sixteen-year-old Mal (short for Malcolm) asks why a lot: Why did his father leave? Why did his mother fall apart? Why did aliens abduct him, probe him, […]

I Want My Hat Back

The bookseller at my local store was frantically restocking after the grand opening weekend and was making room to face out Jon Klassen’s wickedly funny I Want My Hat Back. After I commented on the book, she said, “I’ve read a lot about this book, but I have not had time to read it yet.” […]

Strong girls and movies

I hope everyone who celebrates it had a good Thanksgiving. Yesterday I dined in the company of, among others, a high school freshman who declared her absolute allegiance to Kristin Cashore. We are both looking forward to Bitterblue. She also bragged about having read Ayn Rand, but I put that little notion in its place […]

Kadir Nelson Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by Roger Sutton: Your new book, Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans, weaves together historical facts — about slavery, the Emancipation Proclamation, real people like Rosa Parks […]

Doodle to your heart’s content

We’re heading into gift-buying season, and activity books are a great choice for creative kids. The previous activity/coloring book I reviewed on this blog was a hit with my sister’s nephew, so I took a look at a few of the new activity books we’ve received. I love fairy tales and superheroes, but Vincent Boudgourd’s […]

Subway Story

Having last posted on Chris Raschka’s A Ball for Daisy, Subway Story seemed like an obvious follow-up because of its connections to Arlene Sardine. True, the central character here isn’t alive to begin with, but she is so clearly personified that her “drowning” near the end had me all panicked when I first read this. […]

Fashionably late (by fifty years)

Here’s how K. T. Horning begins her review of The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth in the November/December 2011 Horn Book Magazine: “If ever there were a twentieth-century children’s book that deserved an annotated edition, it’s Juster and Feiffer’s masterpiece, first published fifty years ago.” And what did the Horn Book have to say about said masterpiece […]

Review of The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth

The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster; illus. by Jules Feiffer; annotated by Leonard S. Marcus Knopf    284 pp. 10/11   978-0-375-85715-7   $29.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-95715-4   $32.99 If ever there were a twentieth-century children’s book that deserved an annotated edition, it’s Juster and Feiffer’s masterpiece, first published fifty years ago. Filled with […]

Books to read around the menorah

We recommend some recent Hanukkah books to help you celebrate the Festival of Lights.