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Review of The Dark

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

The Dark by Lemony Snicket; 
illus. by Jon Klassen Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 4/13    978-0-316-18748-0    $16.99 Leave it to Lemony Snicket to craft a story personifying “the dark” — an idea all too real and frightening for children afraid of what lurks in the shadows. But they will find a kindred spirit in […]

Review of Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell High School    St. Martin’s Griffin    328 pp. 2/13    978-1-250-01257-9    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-03121-1    $9.99 It’s the start of a new school year in 1986 Omaha when sophomores Eleanor and Park meet for the first time on the bus. They are an unusual pair: she’s the new girl in town, […]

The hero’s journey

The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle

Two girls, a boy, and a whole bunch of princes and princesses embark on captivating adventures. These four new fantasy stories for middle graders and middle schoolers feature compelling characters careening through wondrous worlds. They vanquished a nasty witch and saved their various realms in The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. Now princes Liam, […]

Les Petits Fairytales


Once upon a time, two Henry Holt board books arrived in our office. Cinderella and Snow White (October 2012) are part of the new Les Petits Fairytales series written by Trixie Belle and Melissa Caruso-Scott and illustrated by Oliver Lake. These minimalist texts (with one- or two-word explanations of each image) read like concept books, but […]

Board books and flap books galore

I Can Do It Myself

Four recommended pairs of board and flap books for toddlers.

Returning YA fantasy and sci-fi series

crown of embers_300

Four new entries in recommended YA sci-fi and fantasy series.

Over the moon for Broadway lullabies

over the moon

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. How, you may ask, does this connect with children’s books? Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project (Easton Studio Press, May 2012) includes a book of illustrated poems/lullabies, two CDs of the songs, and an e-book. Actress Kate Dawson developed this project to honor her cousin, who died of […]

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! and The Great Pumpkin Festival app reviews


The Peanuts gang is back in two new interconnected Loud Crow Interactive apps. A follow-up to last fall’s fabulous A Charlie Brown Christmas app, Loud Crow’s latest story app It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! (October 2012) is based on the 1966 animated holiday TV special of the same name. Linus spends Halloween night in […]

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore app review

morris lessmore menu

“Everyone’s story matters,” according to Morris Lessmore, a lifelong lover of books and the title character of William Joyce’s The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. That’s certainly a worthy notion, and it has made me a champion of this particular story since the animated short film first won an Academy Award in February, […]

May the Force be with you (and your reading!)

Star Wars Reads Day

[cue 20th Century Fox intro] [cue Star Wars theme song] Tomorrow, Saturday October 6, 2012 is the first National Star Wars Reads Day, designed to “celebrate reading and Star Wars.” While this may be an unusual pairing, I’m all for promoting events that encourage children to read. So in honor of the inaugural event, I’ve […]