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Archives for April 2014

Heads will roll?

  I was showing a friend around Boston yesterday (do make a stop at the Mapparium if you’re ever in the Back Bay; it’s awesome) when we ran into this sculpture  parked outside the Museum of Fine Arts. It’s one of a pair by Antonio López García but of course I thought of Harriet the […]

Chill out, animals

While proofreading the May/June Magazine book reviews section, Martha astutely noted how many of the picture books feature animals draped over branches. (Trust us on Two Little Birds; the picture is inside.) Nice life, animals.       

Review of A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown’s War Against Slavery

A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown’s War Against Slavery by Albert Marrin Middle School, High School    Knopf    234 pp. 4/14    978-0-307-98152-3    $19.99 Library ed.  978-0-307-98153-0    $22.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-75340-1    $10.99 According to the prologue, John Brown’s raid at Harpers Ferry helped “set the stage for the Civil War.” His violent actions raise an […]

Graphic novels

I am a college professor working with students who are aspiring teachers of deaf and hard of hearing students at the University of Tulsa, and this year I have launched, with the support of my colleagues and students, a free reading clinic for deaf and hard of hearing students in the Tulsa area. The clinic […]

This Star Won’t Go Out

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I did not know much about Esther Grace Earl when I began reading her diaries — which seemed a tad voyeuristic on my part. This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Earl (with her parents Lori and Wayne Earl) collects Esther’s musings and drawings, which span […]

Review of The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina Middle School, High School    Candlewick    371 pp. 4/14    978-0-7636-6988-1    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-7636-7225-6    $17.99 In this Australian import, Ashala Wolf is head of the Tribe, a group of refugees deemed Illegals because of their supernatural abilities, which the government claims threaten the world’s fragile Balance. Some […]

Notable novels in verse

After highlighting a variety of poetry picture books in the April issue of Notes from the Horn Book and March issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book, we wanted to feature some of the notable novels in verse from the last year before National Poetry Month 2014 comes to a close. Intermediate After Gabby’s […]

There’s Something About Islands

As a children’s author, I’ve been visiting schools for over ten years now, and it’s one of the most surprising things to learn, when you first start doing the rounds, that each school is different. No two are alike, but after ten years, it’s rare that you come across a school that really makes you […]

Review of Tap Tap Boom Boom

Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle; 
illus. by G. Brian Karas Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-5696-6    $16.99 Many picture books about storms are set in the country (e.g., Shetta Crum’s Thunder-Boomer!, rev. 7/09), but this one takes place in the big city. Bluemle uses rhymes and rhythms to convey the sudden changes […]

Reading a book you dislike

For about ten years now, I have taught Pre-K. One of my favorite parts of the job is reading stories to the children during circle time. I am far from a great entertainer, but I try my best to make the stories entertaining or engaging to the children in some way; however, making a story […]