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Last show and tell of 2015!

henkes waiting poster

When Out of the Box started over five years ago (!!), it was primarily show-and-tell-type posts: a look at what we literally pulled out of boxes we received. The scope of the blog has widened considerably since then — adding app reviews, movie reviews, event recaps, and lots more — but I still collect notable […]

Week in Review, December 21st-24th

Week in Review

This week on… From the January/February 2016 Horn Book Magazine: “The Writer’s Page: On Writing the American Familia“ by Meg Medina “What Can Data Tell Us?: An Agent’s Thoughts on the 2015 Nielsen Children’s Book Summit” by Stephen Barbara Marieke Nijkamp Talks with Roger Reviews of the Week: Picture Book: Samurai Santa: A Very […]

Christmas books for little ones

jones_santa shimmy

Need a last-minute stocking stuffer? Just hoping for something to occupy kids (or wear them out) while waiting for Santa to show tonight? Here are some cute choices for sharing with little ones. Author Christianne Jones and illustrator Emma Randall’s board book Santa Shimmy (Picture Window, August 2015) stars a Bink-lookalike demonstrating the “Santa shimmy”: […]

Munchings and crunchings: food in books

turkish delight

I’ve been thinking a lot about food in books since reading Jess Zimmerman’s fabulous article “C.S. Lewis’ Greatest Fiction: Convincing American Kids That They Would Like Turkish Delight”: “It was like looking into Harry Potter’s Mirror of Erised, but for desserts: when you thought of a treat worth betraying your family for, what did you […]

We wish you a merry Bookmas!


Last year I pulled together a few bookish gifts we were drooling over — here are some literary presents we’re giving (and maybe, hopefully getting) this holiday season. Shoshana I’m only actually giving this to one person, but I find myself recommending It’s Only Stanley to everyone who asks for a picture book recommendation. It […]

Week in Review, December 14th-18th

Week in Review

This week on… From the January/February 2016 Horn Book Magazine: “Shelf Lives: From Bookseller to Bestseller” by Abby McGanney Nolan David Fickling Talks with Roger Reviews of the Week: Picture Book: The Plan by Alison Paul; illus. by Barbara Lehman Fiction: Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt Nonfiction: W Is for Webster: Noah Webster and His American […]

Week in Review, December 7th-11th

Week in Review

This week on… Fanfare 2015: Our choices for the best books of the year: now with annotations! Hunger Games Week on Out of the Box Hunger Games Week The next great American theme park? “The Hunger Games: The Exhibition” The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 movie review Mockingjay, Part 2: Let’s talk about that […]

Goodbye, Katniss

katniss salute

It’s always hard to say goodbye to a beloved series. In the case of The Hunger Games trilogy, movie adaptations have drawn out the inevitable for several more years — but now the end is truly here. In tribute (har har) to the franchise, we’ve pulled together a roundup of our Hunger Games coverage (and […]

Sago Mini Fairy Tales app review

sago mini fairy tales title screen

I know I recently reviewed a Sago Mini app, but I just like them so much! And how could I resist Sago Mini Fairy Tales (December 2014), featuring two of my favorite things: fairy tales and felines? An orange, fairy-winged kitty emerges from a cottage to explore a nighttime fairyland scene. Similar to the setup […]

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 movie review

mockingjay part 2 poster

Given my love for The Hunger Games books and appreciation for the previous movie adaptations, I had high hopes for the final installment, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 (Lionsgate, November 2015; PG-13 — see the Mockingjay, Part 1 review here). Sad to say, I was disappointed. Obviously, spoilers ahead for both movie and novel. […]