Review of My Brother’s Book

My Brother's Book

My Brother’s Book by Maurice Sendak; 
illus. by the author di Capua/HarperCollins    32 pp. 2/13    978-0-06-223489-6    $18.95    g If, as Wordsworth wrote, “poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity,” Sendak’s vision of a Dante-esque search for his beloved brother Jack (1924–1995) is poetry in both […]

Review of The McElderry Book of Mother Goose

The McElderry Book of Mother Goose compiled by Petra Mathers

The McElderry Book 
of Mother Goose: Revered and Rare Rhymes compiled by Petra Mathers; 
illus. by the compiler Primary, Intermediate    McElderry    96 pp. 8/12    978-0-689-85605-1    $21.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5314-2    $12.99 Not since Leonard Marcus’s Mother Goose’s Little Misfortunes (rev. 11/90) has there been such a delightfully idiosyncratic selection. Drawn mostly from the canonical Opies (see […]

Phillip Hoose on Moonbird

phillip hoose

From the July/August 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Reviewer Joanna Rudge Long asks Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 author Phillip Hoose about the rufa red knot’s current whereabouts. Read the full starred review of Moonbird here. Joanna Rudge Long: Has there been another sighting of B95 since […]

Review of Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95

Moonbird by Phillip M. Hoose

Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with 
the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose Intermediate, Middle School, High School Farrar    
148 pp.    7/12    978-0-374-30468-3    $21.99 He’s called “Moonbird” because, over a lifespan of twenty years, he’s flown some 325,000 miles, the distance to the moon and almost halfway back. This robin-sized red knot (subspecies rufa), […]

Review of Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses

koertge_lies knives and girls in red dresses

Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses by Ron Koertge; illus. by Andrea Dezsö High School     Candlewick     88 pp. 7/12     978-0-7636-4406-2     $19.99 A much-honored poet and novelist retells, in free verse and from various points of view, twenty-three familiar tales (mostly Grimm, Andersen, and Perrault). With a contemporary sensibility and voice, Koertge pitches directly to […]

Caldecott 2012: “everything…which is yes”

A Ball for Daisy

Just as the proof of the pudding is in the eating, real appreciation of a picture book depends on more than a first taste, or a first look; truer evaluation becomes possible only after savoring every nuance. At first glance, illustrations may delight us with their beauty — their drafting, palette, forms, composition; with how […]

Review of Show Me a Story: Why Picture Books Matter

Show Me A Story 212x300

Show Me a Story!: Why Picture Books Matter: 
Conversations with 21 of the World’s Most Celebrated Illustrators compiled and edited 
by Leonard S. Marcus Middle School, High School, Of Interest to Adults    Candlewick    310 pp. 4/12    978-0-7636-3506-0    $22.99 “For a story’s text to work, it needs to be incomprehensible. Otherwise you wouldn’t need the pictures,” […]

Some Pigs! What Makes a Good Three Little Pigs?

scieszka_true story of the three little pigs

Once upon a time . . . there was an old sow with three little pigs, and as she had not enough to keep them, she sent them out to seek their fortune. The first that went off met a man with a bundle of straw, and said to him: “Please man, give me that […]

How to Choose a Goose: What Makes a Good Mother Goose?


It is a truth universally acknowledged that every English-speaking child is the better for an early friendship with “Mother Goose” — early meaning from birth, because nothing boosts language development better than those catchy rhymes and rhythms. Scholars and educators alike praise the virtues and resonances of these traditional rhymes. They are essentials of both […]