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About Jennifer M. Brabander

Jennifer M. Brabander is former senior editor of The Horn Book Magazine.

Review of Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

pak_goodbye summer hello autumn

Goodbye Summer, 
Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak; illus. by the author Preschool    Holt    32 pp. 8/16    978-1-62779-415-2    $17.99    g “Hello, late summer morning,” says a young girl in a red scarf as she leaves her house on a double-page spread suffused in soft greens. She greets the trees, a variety of animals, flowers, thunder, and […]

Review of Dara Palmer’s Major Drama

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Dara Palmer’s Major Drama by Emma Shevah; illus. by Helen Crawford-White Intermediate    Sourcebooks Jabberwocky    282 pp. 7/16    978-1-4926-3138-5    $16.99    g Though not a sequel to Shevah’s first novel, Dream On, Amber, this book is set at the same British elementary school and features another memorable narrator. Fifth grader Dara is genuinely gobsmacked when she isn’t […]

Review of Somewhere Among

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Somewhere Among by Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu Intermediate    Dlouhy/Atheneum    441 pp. 4/16    978-1-4814-3786-8    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-3788-2    $10.99 Japanese fifth-grader Ema and her pregnant mother must move to the other side of Toyko to stay for several months with Obaasan and Jiichan, Papa’s parents: Mom is weak with debilitating morning sickness, and Papa works long hours. No […]

Review of A Tangle of Gold

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A Tangle of Gold [Colors of Madeleine] by Jaclyn Moriarty Middle School, High School    Levine/Scholastic    470 pp. 4/16    978-0-545-39740-7    $17.99    g e-book ed. 978-0-545-77735-3    $17.99 Going into this final book in the trilogy set in two worlds (A Corner of White, rev. 5/13; The Cracks in the Kingdom, rev. 3/14), Moriarty left herself with an […]

Review of I Hear a Pickle (and Smell, See, Touch, 
and Taste It, Too!)

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I Hear a Pickle (and Smell, See, Touch, 
and Taste It, Too!) by Rachel Isadora; illus. by the author Preschool   Paulsen/Penguin   32 pp. 1/16   978-0-399-16049-3   $16.99   g Starting with a clever, attention-grabbing title, Isadora’s book about the five senses is aimed perfectly at another sense — kids’ sense of humor. Separate sections, beginning with sound […]

This Is My Home, This Is My School

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Using the same setting and characters from his semi-autobiographical Building Our House (a 2013 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner), Jonathan Bean portrays a typical day in the life of a homeschooling family in This Is My Home, This Is My School. Mr. Versatile, Bean changes his illustration style from book to book and does so […]

Review of Goodnight, Good Dog

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Goodnight, Good Dog by Mary Lyn Ray; illus. by Rebecca Malone Preschool   Houghton   32 pp. 11/15   978-0-544-28612-2   $16.99 A small yellow dog has no interest in going to bed. (Just like many a child.) Even after the house and the people in it are asleep, the dog is awake and remembering his fun-filled day—playing, eating, […]

Review of My Autumn Book

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My Autumn Book by Wong Herbert Yee; 
illus. by the author Preschool   Ottaviano/Holt   32 pp. 8/15   978-0-8050-9922-5   $14.99 A girl celebrates autumn in Yee’s fourth in a quartet of books about the seasons (Tracks in the Snow, rev. 11/03; Who Likes Rain?, rev. 3/07; Summer Days and Nights, rev. 7/12). The young narrator continues her […]

Review of Out of the Woods: A True Story of an Unforgettable Event

Out of the Woods

Out of the Woods: A True Story of an Unforgettable Event by Rebecca Bond; illus. by the author Primary   Ferguson/Farrar   40 pp. 7/15   978-0-374-38077-9   $17.99 Bond relates a story from 1914 Ontario, during her grandfather’s childhood, when he lived at a lakeside hotel run by his mother. Art and text describe young Antonio wandering the […]

Review of The Spell Book of Listen Taylor

Jaclyn Moriarty The Spell Book of Listen Taylor 479 pp. Levine/Scholastic 9/07 isbn 978-0-439-84678-3 $16.99 g (High School) Moriarty (The Year of Secret Assignments, rev. 3/04; The Life Murder of Bindy Mackenzie, rev. 1/07) returns with another madly convoluted, over-the-top comedy-drama-mystery told from multiple points of view. Twelve-year-old Listen Taylor is too ashamed to tell […]