Easy, breezy easy readers

archer_big bad wolf

Skiing squirrels, robot pals, lovebird mammals, and story-time creatures in (not too much) peril. These new books for the youngest readers are ones that kids will be able to — and, perhaps more importantly, will want to — read. New readers are in for a treat with the Urgency Emergency! series by Dosh Archer. Big […]

All the world’s children

dominguez_maria had a little llama

Looking for picture books that embrace diversity? The following stories present kids from a variety of backgrounds enjoying time with their friends, their family members…and their pet llamas. Maria and her llama smile out at us from the cover of Angela Dominguez’s bilingual picture book set in the Peruvian Alps, Maria Had a Little Llama […]

The Horn Book Television Line-Up

hbtv

All-of-a-Kind Family Feud Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte, Gertie, and Baby Charlie: “Bring it on, Ingalls clan!” Big Brother Housemates Darry Curtis, Klaus Baudelaire, the Weasley twins, and Christopher Dollanganger dish about their precocious younger sibs. Mad Men Dressed-to-the-nines ad execs Brother Leon, President Snow, Voldemort, and Gollum backstab, scheme, and imbibe to deaden self-loathing. Meanwhile, […]

If the weather outside is frightful

big snow

During the holiday season, sometimes you want to romp around outside, sometimes you want to snuggle in with a good book. These four picture books let readers stay warm while vicariously experiencing wintertime bliss. It’s mid-December. Mom is preparing for houseguests, and David is waiting for the first big snow of the season. At naptime, […]

Boo! Participation encouraged

spooky friends

An easy reader, a seek-and-find, and two poetry books bring Halloween silliness to early elementary readers. Eager participation is anticipated. “Scarlet and Igor were very good friends. The trouble was, they could never agree on anything,” begins early reader Spooky Friends by Jane Feder. In three brief stories, vampire Scarlet and mummy Igor first argue, […]

Non-gory scary stories

wicked cruel

Many middle graders and middle schoolers like their scary books creepy… but not terrifying. The following titles fit the bill, incorporating some humor, some shivers, and a minimum of gore. The star of John Bemelmans Marciano’s The 9 Lives of Alexander Baddenfield comes from a long line of miscreants (“To say that the Baddenfield family […]

Flora is the new Chloe?

flora and the flamingo

Last year, Betsy Bird commented on the “Cluster of Chloes” showing up in children’s books. (And, in the comments section, Lois Lowry noted the Emmas and Bens of yore.) A new crop of books seems to have blossomed, all starring girls (or other animals) named Flora. Recent books…and counting: Flora and the Flamingo by Molly […]

Real girls

45 pounds

Body image issues; death and grief; attempted suicide; mental illness. Problem novels move into the twenty-first century with these books starring young women who cope with their troubles in refreshingly realistic, nuanced ways. In K. A. Barson’s 45 Pounds (More or Less), sixteen-year-old Ann Galardi wants to lose weight: she can’t fit into department store […]

Molly Idle on Flora and the Flamingo

molly idle

In the July/August 2013 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer Elissa Gershowitz asked Flora and the Flamingo author/illustrator Molly Idle where Flora gets her groove. Read the starred review here. Elissa Gershowitz: Is there music in your head to accompany the story? (I hear the Sugar Plum Fairy song.) Molly Idle: I love Tchaikovsky’s music — and […]

Review of Flora and the Flamingo

flora and the flamingo

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Chronicle    40 pp. 3/13    978-1-4521-1006-6    $16.99 A little girl, a pink flamingo, some decorative cherry blossoms, and singular lift-the-flaps contribute to a unique wordless picture book. On the title-page spread, a flamingo gracefully touches down en pointe. The next spread shows the […]