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Archives for December 2016

2016 in review

Happy New Year! We hope your year is full of great reads and good friends. Before we ring in 2017, though, let’s take a look back at 2016 — we had a very busy year! BGHB 2016 coverage Fanfare 2016 ALA 2016 coverage Remembering children’s lit Great Ladies Lois Duncan, Anna Dewdney, and Natalie Babbitt; […]

Excellent Ed

In Excellent Ed, a dog longs for confirmation that he is special and important to his family. Each of the Ellis children are gifted at one thing or another, and Ed wants to know what he contributes to the group. He knows he is good at “forgetting stuff” and “losing stuff,” but is that enough […]

Flora and the Peacocks

Oh, how I love Flora and the Flamingo, the first Flora book by Molly Idle, published in 2013. Those amazing flaps, like nothing we’d seen; the gracefulness of the illustrations, with infusions of humor; the lyricism of the story, without using any words. I was thrilled when it won a Caldecott Honor (and as we learned […]

Review of Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, a Life in Nature

Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, a Life in Nature by Cindy Jenson-Elliott; illus. by Christy Hale Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    32 pp. 9/16    978-1-62779-082-6    $17.99 This peppy picture book biography of nature photographer Ansel Adams describes an “antsy” young boy whose propensity to get into trouble was allayed only by being in the great outdoors. Sonorous language, including […]

Take the A train

My twenty-month-old grandson is currently so enamored with the New York subway system that every activity (including eating, waking from a nap, and interacting with family members) becomes an imaginary trip on the A train. But you don’t have to be a New Yorker or even, as Eloise puts it, “a city child” to enjoy […]

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

As I write this, we’re having the first snow of the season in Chicago. My kids could not wait to go outside. They ran back and forth, trying to catch snowflakes on their tongue. They asked when they would be able to have a snowball fight and when we could go sledding. Like most adults […]

Review of Cloudwish

Cloudwish by Fiona Wood High School    Poppy/Little, Brown    309 pp. 10/16    978-0-316-24212-7    $18.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-316-24211-0    $9.99 The Australian author’s third novel focuses on two minor characters from Wildlife (rev. 11/14). Vân U’ó’c Phan is a hardworking scholarship student, an artist, and the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants who expect her to become a doctor. […]

Color me confused: more adult(ish?) coloring books

We’ve talked here before about the adult coloring craze (and its frequent connections to children’s literature, from Harry Potter coloring events to a coloring book inspired by The Little Prince. It seems this craze won’t be over any time soon, as these “grownup” coloring books just keep coming. In the name of research, I recently spent some time with four new […]

Review of The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas; illus. by Erin E. Stead Primary    Dial    40 pp. 8/16    978-0-8037-3868-3    $17.99    g Working as a kind of seaside mail carrier, the Uncorker of Ocean Bottles seeks out all the floating messages in bottles and delivers them to their proper recipients. The wistful Uncorker, shown going to […]

Happy holidays from The Horn Book!

I dusted off the old party-planning hat for The Horn Book’s holiday celebration last week — the first outing since my return to the HB in October. This year’s outing was a hybrid lunch/field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts. There was delicious food (and wine!) at the MFA’s snazzy restaurant Bravo, good conversation, […]