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Archives for March 2016

Chapter books | Class #3, 2016

This week we are reading three chapter books — The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos, and The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. Each is the first book in a series and each has a strong central character, an element that I think is essential in early […]

The Stories Julian Tells | Class #3, 2016

The Stories Julian Tells is the first book in an ongoing series about brothers Julian and Hughie, and their neighbor Gloria. This is an early chapter book for readers who have acquired some fluency but aren’t ready to tackle longer books yet. The chapters are fairly short, there’s lots of conversation, the plot is easy […]

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key | Class #3, 2016

The Joey Pigza books are hugely popular with upper elementary kids. Joey Pigza is the first of the series and while it’s not spelled out, I think it’s pretty obvious that Joey has ADHD. I like sharing this book with teachers because they tend to look at the situations described in the book completely differently […]

The Birchbark House | Class #3, 2016

Louise Erdrich’s historical novel The Birchbark House is the first in a series, each book following a child from a different generation in an Ojibwa community. Often, books for children contain a central character who is about the same age as the book’s readers. The Birchbark House would be a tough read for most children […]

Two articles about chapter books | Class #3, 2016

This week in addition to our three chapter books, we are reading two articles. The first is Robin Smith’s piece about her road to becoming a second grade teacher who loves LOVES books, and how she shares them with her classes: “Teaching New Readers to Love Books” from the September/October 2003 Horn Book Magazine. The […]

Farm2Table app review

Low-frills app Farm2Table (Little Pickle Press, January 2016; iOS only) — based on the 2013 picture book The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen by Diana Prichard, illustrated by Heather Devlin Knopf — gives young children a basic idea of where some of their food comes from. One morning young Patrick O’Shanahan goes downstairs for breakfast and […]

Beverly Cleary and the Art of Growing Up

Like my own home street, I took Klickitat Street for granted until I had been gone for a long time and returned. I recently re-read the Ramona series and realized how many scenes had wormed their way into my memory and become indistinguishable from my own experiences. The paper-bag owl, Grandma Quimby’s proverbs, the dawnzer, […]

Spring (NE) reading!

We receive a lot of books at the Horn Book and, as the editorial assistant for the Guide, a good portion of my job is entering said books into our database. But the criteria for what we review — the book is a non-activity, children’s book printed in hardcover, by a publisher that can be […]

Review of Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgill; 
illus. by Francis Vallejo Intermediate    Candlewick    54 pp. 3/16    978-0-7636-6954-6    $18.99    g On August 12, 1958, fifty-plus jazz musicians, famous and emerging, gathered together in front of a brownstone in Harlem for a group photo shoot. The resulting photograph has become iconic, a single […]

Review of A Dragon’s Guide to Making 
Your Human Smarter

A Dragon’s Guide to Making 
Your Human Smarter by Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder; 
illus. by Mary GrandPré Intermediate    Crown    296 pp. 3/16    978-0-385-39232-7    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-39233-4    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-39234-1    $10.99 Newly admitted to Spriggs Academy, Winnie Burton has more to contend with than the usual new-girl jitters. Winnie’s dragon-caretaker, Miss Drake, […]