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Archives for November 2015

Review of The Amber Spyglass

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman Middle School, High School     Knopf     523 pp. 10/00     0-679-87926-9     $19.95 Armed with a rare numbered typescript copy of The Amber Spyglass, I’m tempted to roll up my shirtsleeves, light a cigar, splash some Tokay into a glass, and discuss fine points of reason, fancy, and theology before all hell […]

Fanfare! 2015

The Horn Book Magazine’s choices for the best books of 2015. Sign up now to receive the fully annotated list in next week’s issue of Notes from the Horn Book. Picture Books It’s Only Stanley written and illustrated by Jon Agee (Dial) My Bike written and illustrated by Byron Barton (Greenwillow) Out of the Woods: […]

DinoWriMo: Professors

Who is dinosaurs’ favorite children’s lit professor? Parasaurolophus Nodelman.   For more terrible puns, click the tag DinoWriMo.

Funny Bones

You know that skeleton woman with the big flowered hat? Guess what? Her name is la Catrina, and she wasn’t created by Russell Stover. You may not recognize the name José Guadalupe Posada, but you’re probably familiar with his most iconic illustration. La Catrina is everywhere these days, especially since el dia de los muertos […]

Review of Goodnight, Good Dog

Goodnight, Good Dog by Mary Lyn Ray; illus. by Rebecca Malone Preschool   Houghton   32 pp. 11/15   978-0-544-28612-2   $16.99 A small yellow dog has no interest in going to bed. (Just like many a child.) Even after the house and the people in it are asleep, the dog is awake and remembering his fun-filled day—playing, eating, […]

Books mentioned in the December 2015 issue of What Makes a Good…?

What Makes a Good Preschool Book? All Through the Day Castillo, Lauren Nana in the City 40 pp.     Clarion     2014     ISBN 978-0-544-10443-3 dePaola, Tomie Look and Be Grateful 32 pp.     Holiday     2015     ISBN 978-0-8234-3443-5 Fleming, Candace Bulldozer’s Big Day 32 pp.     Atheneum     2015     ISBN 978-1-4814-0097-8 Ebook ISBN 978-1-4814-0098-5 Golan, Avirama Little Naomi, Little Chick Illustrated […]

Recommended Preschool Books: ABCs and 123s

Browne, Anthony One Gorilla: A Counting Book 32 pp. Candlewick 2013. ISBN 978-0-7636-6352-0 For Anthony Browne, a gorilla is never just a gorilla. In this seemingly simple counting book from one to ten (plus a final coda), generous white space and classic type treatment balance expertly with large head-and-shoulders portraits of primates: “1 gorilla / […]

Recommended Preschool Books: All Through the Day

Castillo, Lauren Nana in the City 40 pp. Clarion 2014. ISBN 978-0-544-10443-3 Visiting Nana in the city, the unnamed child narrator is initially unreceptive to the appeal. “The city is busy…loud…[and] filled with scary things.” Nana promises to show her young visitor that “the city is wonderful — bustling, booming, and extraordinary,” and their tour […]

Five questions for Tomie dePaola

1. You’ve illustrated books intended for a range of ages. What, in your experience, makes a good picture book for the very young? TD: Picture books for the young are the hardest, the most rewarding, and the most consequential task any illustrator/writer can tackle. The responsibility of introducing “The Book” to young children is awesome. […]

Recommended Preschool Books: Bedtime

Choldenko, Gennifer Putting the Monkeys to Bed 32 pp. Putnam 2015. ISBN 978-0-399-24623-4 Illustrated by Jack E. Davis. At bedtime, Sam and his toy monkeys are wide awake. Busy cartoon art full of overstimulating detail vibrates with energy, capturing what it might feel like to be Sam, whose “brain is buzzing.” Eventually, Sam handles the […]