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Archives for July 2017

2017 Simmons Summer Institute: (im)possible dreams

This past weekend was the biannual Summer Children’s Literature Institute at Simmons College, this year titled (im)possible dreams. The Institute began Thursday evening with a conversation between journalist Callie Crossley of WGBH and artist Ekua Holmes. Ekua created the event’s logo as well as the art in the Trustman Gallery’s July exhibit (and, of course, […]

Review of Bulldozer Helps Out

Bulldozer Helps Out by Candace Fleming; illus. by Eric Rohmann Preschool    Dlouhy/Atheneum    40 pp. 5/17    978-1-4814-5894-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5895-5    $10.99 The construction-site gang from Bulldozer’s Big Day (rev. 5/15) is on the job again. “I can help,” little Bulldozer says hopefully to the big trucks hard at work. But Dump Truck, Cement Mixer, and […]

Oh boy

I call bullshit on Daniel Handler’s Sunday New York Times essay about the need of teenaged boys for dirty books. Of course, yes, kids read for the dirty parts, girls as well as boys. And you could make an argument, and I don’t understand why Handler didn’t, that the prurient interests of girls are better […]

Week in Review, July 24th-28th

This week on hbook.com… For our BGHB at 50 celebration: Sherman Alexie’s 2008 BGHB Fiction Award speech for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Reviews of the Week: Picture Book: Now by Antoinette Portis Fiction: Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali Nonfiction: Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee! by Andrea J. Loney; illus. […]

Review of 5 Little Ducks

5 Little Ducks by Denise Fleming; 
illus. by the author Preschool    Beach Lane/Simon    40 pp. 11/16    978-1-4814-2422-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-2423-3    $10.99 Listeners familiar with the traditional nursery rhyme and song know the general plotline: every day ducks go out; every day the returning group shrinks by one. But the particulars — highlighted in glorious […]

Tiggly Chef: Addition app review

Tiggly’s educational apps can be played alone or with the corresponding Tiggly-brand silicone counting, letter, or shape toys. The engaging Tiggly Chef: Addition (2014; iOS and Android) makes a natural follow-up to Tiggly Adventure, inviting you to add numbers up to ten in combinations of units. Select the first level from the menu, and an […]

And the world will be better for this

I hope I see some of you this weekend at Simmons’ Summer Children’s Literature Institute, (im)possible dreams. I had the coffee the other day with BPL children’s services manager Farouqua Abuzeit, and she reminded me she had been a student in a Simmons Institute I led almost thirty years ago, Masquerade. That was my introduction […]

Resources for and about transgender people and allies

Here are links to resources for and about transgender people and allies from The Horn Book and around the web. #protecttranskids #protecttranstroops #readwriteresist Save

The Horn Book is a bunch of liars; or: YOU go the eff to sleep

Look, I love Goodnight Moon just as much as the next parent. The text’s gentle cadence and reassuring repetition. The play of light and shadow across the great green room. And that achingly beautiful and mysterious ending: “Goodnight stars / Goodnight air / Goodnight noises / Everywhere.” My children love it, too. They love filling […]

Review of Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee!

Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee! by Andrea J. Loney; illus. by Keith Mallett Primary    Lee & Low    40 pp.    g 6/17    978-1-62014-260-8    $19.95 One of the most memorable visual artists of the Harlem Renaissance was photographer James VanDerZee. In a picture-book biography that follows VanDerZee from his childhood interest in photography to his […]