Christine M. Heppermann

About Christine M. Heppermann

Christine M. Heppermann is a Horn Book reviewer and a published poet. She is the author of City Chickens (Houghton); Bush v. Gore: The Florida Recounts of the 2000 Presidential Election; Twitter: The Company and Its Founders; and Whitney Houston: Recording Artist and Actress (all published by ABDO).

Review of Crankee Doodle

crankee doodle

Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger; 
illus. by Cece Bell Primary    Clarion    32 pp. 6/13    978-0-547-81854-2    $16.99    g As concepts for picture books go, it’s hard to think of one cleverer than this absurdist deconstruction of the familiar song. Depicted in spindly lined cartoons, Yankee Doodle and his pony debate their plans for the afternoon. When […]

David Levithan on Every Day

david levithan

From the November/December 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Reviewer Christine Hepperman asks author and editor David Levithan about writing gender (and the lack thereof) in his YA novel Every Day. Read the full review of Every Day here. Christine Hepperman: Were there specific challenges in writing a character who is both genders and […]

Review of Every Day

every day

Every Day by David Levithan Middle School, High School    Knopf    325 pp. 8/12    978-0-307-93188-7    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-97111-2    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-307-97563-8    $10.99 “A,” the narrator of Levithan’s brilliantly conceived novel, wakes up in a different sixteen-year-old’s body every morning and has to adjust to different physical characteristics, a different family, a different school, different […]

Whitney and Me: Confessions of a Work-for-Hire Diva

Whitney Houston

I would call it a guilty pleasure if I felt guilty. But my subscription to People magazine actually liberates me. Instead of furtively flipping pages in the checkout line, hoping to find the photos of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s baby before it’s time to unload the hummus, I have Blue Ivy Carter (seven pounds) delivered, so […]

Review of Jangles: A Big Fish Story

Jangles: A Big Fish Story by David Shannon

Jangles: A Big Fish Story by David Shannon; 
illus. by the author Primary    Blue Sky/Scholastic    32 pp. 10/12    978-0-545-14312-7    $17.99    g Shannon takes the one-that-got-away story and spins it out into a big-fish tall tale as recounted by a father to his son. Jangles, the legendary trout of Big Lake, had “broken so many fishing […]

Mini Grey on Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey

Beach-Time Brenda's next adventure?

From the May/June 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Reviewer Christine Hepperman asks Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey author/illustrator Mini Grey about a new favorite character. Read the full review of Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey here. Christine M. Hepperman: Will Beach-Time Brenda reappear in future books, maybe headline a series of […]

Review of Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey

Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey

Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey by Mini Grey; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Knopf     32 pp. 5/12     978-0-375-86952-5     $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-96952-2     $19.99 The adventuresome duo from Traction Man Is Here! (rev. 3/05) and Traction Man Meets Turbodog (rev. 9/08) hits the beach for a manly day of scuba diving, picnic security duty, […]

Five Questions for Melissa Sweet

Melissa Sweet

The first helium-filled creatures to bob through Manhattan on Thanksgiving morning were brought to being by master puppeteer Tony Sarg in the 1920s. Now master illustrator Melissa Sweet, a prolific artist and winner of a Caldecott Honor for A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant, has created an effervescent […]

Review of Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade

Balloons over Broadway

At Macy’s department store, marionette maker Tony Sarg started inside and worked his way out. He designed mechanical storybook figures for Macy’s window displays before inventing the giant balloon characters that would become the signature feature of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Sweet’s whimsical mixed-media collages, embellished with little dolls she made herself out of odds and ends, reinforce the theme that, for Sarg, work was play. He loved his job just as much as the cheering crowds loved his balloons (one of Sweet’s watercolor illustrations shows open-mouthed children fairly dancing with delight).

Review of Zombie Mommy

Zombie Mommy

Mrs. Gefelty, Lily’s mom — worried now that Lily has begun appearing as a book character along with her longtime adventure-series-hero friends Jasper Dash and Katie — has figured out the perfect solution to her metafictive problem. Having noticed that mothers in children’s novels tend to die or disappear, she’s decided to retreat to a safe haven — only it’s not quite as safe as she thinks…