The Everything Machine app review

everything machine title screen

Much like in their Human Body app, Tinybop’s The Everything Machine (2015) provides an opportunity for experimental play and experiential learning. Here users set up virtual circuits between electrical components to accomplish tasks such as power a (digital) light bulb, play sound, or take a picture. The app makes the most of the device’s utilities […]

Banned Books Week 2015

banned books week 2015

It’s Banned Books Week! From The American Library Association’s website: “Each year, the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information.” This year, […]

Week in Review, September 21st-25th

Week in Review

This week on… Remembering Dorothy Butler We’re getting ready for next week’s Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards ceremony and Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium with BGHB Week: Countdown to BGHB festivities! 2015 BGHB Fiction Day 2015 BGHB Nonfiction Day 2015 BGHB Picture Book Day 2015 BGHB Week roundup Reviews of the Week: Picture Book: Double […]

Week in Review, September 14th-18th

Week in Review

This week on… From the September/October 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: “YA Meets the Real: Fiction and Nonfiction That Take On the World” by Marina Budhos Camp Sendak: Stephen Savage’s love letter to the Sendak Fellowship program (bonus: a map by Doug Salati) Lois Ehlert Talks with Roger Reviews of the Week: […]

Toca Nature app review

toca nature title screen

Siân ♥s Toca Band. While Toca Nature (Toca Boca, 2014) is more contemplative — no sunglasses-sporting emcee hollering “We rockin’ it!” here — it provides a similarly satisfying experience of experimental play. As the app opens, you are presented with a square chunk of landscape, floating in pleasantly dreamy, starry space. A few trees and […]

A visit to Lyra’s Oxford (and other British children’s lit landmarks)


I’m just back in the office after a week and a half in the UK — which seemed like a long time when we booked the trip, but felt like a whirlwind tour. The occasion was my cousin’s wedding in Oxford (congratulations, Emily and Felix!), but we visited Bath, London, and Edinburgh as well. We […]

National Hispanic Heritage Month starts today!

elya_little roja riding hood

Today begins National Hispanic Heritage Month, a month-long recognition of “the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.” For more information and a calendar of events, visit the National Hispanic Heritage Month website. Here are some interviews, recommended books, and articles from […]

Review of Lair of Dreams

bray_lair of dreams

Lair of Dreams: A Diviners Novel by Libba Bray High School   Little, Brown   691 pp. 8/15   978-0-316-12604-5   $19.00   g e-book ed. 978-0-316-36488-1   $9.99 Seventeen-year-old flapper Evie O’Neill (The Diviners, rev. 11/12) and friends confront another supernatural threat. As before, Bray follows multiple characters, many of them also paranormally gifted; while Evie (now a radio star […]

Week in Review, September 7th-11th

Week in Review

This week on… From the September/October 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: “Kids’ Own Publishing” by Margaret Robson Kett September’s Notes from the Horn Book newsletter: 5Q for Eric Carle, more silly picture books, picture book bios of trailblazers, animal fantasy, unusual narrative structures in YA Calling Caldecott returns! Reviews of the Week: […]

In the waves, in the water…

stella_in the waves

I’m a big fan of young sister duet Lennon & Maisy (thanks to Jen Brabander*, for introducing me to their YouTube videos!), so I was intrigued to see their new picture book In the Waves (HarperCollins, April 2015) come in. Illustrated with warm ink-and-watercolor art by Steve Björkman, the book is based on Lennon & […]