BeBop Blox app review

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Toddlers meet Tetris in the puzzle-based app BeBop Blox (Originator, formerly Callaway Digital Arts, 2013). On the main screen, viewers find twelve blocks (three rows of four), jauntily wiggling to some simple jazzy background music. The squares are designed to look like classic wooden block toys painted in pastel hues and with center cut-outs of […]

Chill out, animals

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While proofreading the May/June Magazine book reviews section, Martha astutely noted how many of the picture books feature animals draped over branches. (Trust us on Two Little Birds; the picture is inside.) Nice life, animals.       

Harriet at 50

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

She doesn’t look a day over eleven, but this year Harriet the Spy, first published in 1964, is turning 50. To celebrate, The Horn Book Magazine‘s May/June issue features thoughts, musings, riffs, and remembrances about the girl spy. Click on the tag Harriet at 50 to see what Jack Gantos, K. T. Horning, Megan McDonald, […]

Anybody want a peanut?

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We recently received the (adult) graphic novel biography Andre the Giant: Life and Legend by Box Brown (May 2014, First Second). As any Princess Bride fan will know, Andre the Giant is the professional-wrestler-turned-actor who played Fezzik in the movie. Born Andre Rene Roussimoff, he grew up in rural Molien, France, where he was too large […]

Dayenu!

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Pour the wine (or grape juice) and chop the nuts and apples. Here are some new books for Passover. (And here are two more.)   Preschool Two Shalom Sesame series entries, written by Tilda Balsley and Ellen Fischer and illustrated by Tom Leigh, follow Sesame Street characters in Israel as they learn about doing good […]

Life during wartime

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War wreaks havoc on civilians, soldiers, and those they leave behind. Nevertheless, the following four works of historical fiction epitomize the WWII Britain motto: “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Four years ago, Alfie Summerfield’s dad, Georgie, signed up to fight in WWI. For a while, letters came regularly; then they stopped altogether. Eventually Alfie learns […]

Review of Sophie Sleeps Over

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Sophie Sleeps Over by Marisabina Russo; 
illus. by the author Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    32 pp. 3/14    978-1-59643-933-7    $16.99    g Sophie and Olive are BBFFs (best bunny friends forever). When Olive announces a sleepover birthday party, Sophie is excited to go (“‘Sleepover parties are my favorite kind,’ said Sophie, even though she had never been to […]

Roger’s moving moments

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It’s our last week at 56 Roland Street. Simmons campus, here we come! Roger has been cleaning out his office. Here’s what he’s found so far. Who wants to help us pack?!

Dinosaurs app review

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Many kids visit natural history museums for school field trips or just for fun. Around here it’s the Harvard Natural History Museum (home of the stunning glass flowers room and free to Massachusetts residents on Sunday mornings). Chicago has the Field Museum. And in the NY/NJ/CT tri-state area kids flock to the American Museum of […]

The real superheroes

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Shared reading has made my child a Frog and Toad and George and Martha  fan. Preschool has made him a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan. (Remember them, ’80s kids? They’re back.) In the absence of action figures, he uses his Lego animals as Ninja Turtles. The other day he was playing superheroes: “Here’s Donatello, and […]