Metamorphabet app review

metamorphabet daydream

In Metamorphabet (Vectorpark, 2015), each (uppercase) letter of the alphabet appears on a brightly colored background. Tap the featured letter to initiate its animated transformation into a short series of visual representations of words beginning with that letter: J to jiggle to juggle to jelly fish. A somewhat monotone female narrator speaks the letter’s name, […]

Week in Review, February 16th-20th

Week in Review

This week on hbook.com… “Five Questions for Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander” “In Defense of Gentle Men“: Megan Dowd Lambert on Frazee’s farmer, the Steads’ Amos, and more gentle men in children’s books Patrick Jennings Talks with Roger Reviews of the Week: Picture Book: Finding Spring by Carin Berger Fiction: Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson Nonfiction: Tomboy: […]

Happy Year of the Sheep!

yim_goldy luck and the three pandas2

The celebration of Lunar New Year begins today! Eat some dumplings and share a book from this updated list of titles featuring the holiday, all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide. Picture books Set in long-ago China, Ying Chang Compestine’s The Runaway Wok tells of Ming Zhang and his poor […]

Recommended reading on “the circuit”

adler_picture book of cesar chavez

In his 1998 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award acceptance speech for The Circuit, Dr. Francisco Jiménez said, “The blowing of the horn for The Circuit will draw attention to and compassion for the thousands of migrant families and their children of yesterday and today. This sound is truly music to my ears.” These books, all recommended […]

“These children need a champion”: an interview with Gretchen Bircher

jimenez_the circuit

Gretchen Bircher is an instructional aide at Adam Elementary School in Santa Maria, California. (She’s also my amazing mom!) Today she is submitting a proposal to the Santa Maria–Bonita School District, advocating that a new elementary school be named in honor of Dr. Francisco Jiménez — author, recipient of a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and […]

Reading rainbow? Not quite

purple books

Yo, Marsala, I’m happy for you, I’ma let you finish — but Eggplant is the real Color of the Year. At least according to this entire shelf of purple-jacketed books.

Week in Review, February 9th-13th

Week in Review

This week on hbook.com… Starred reviews, March/April 2015 Horn Book Magazine February Notes from the Horn Book: 5Q for Lucy Cousins, outside-the-box concept books, PB bios about African American music icons, intermediate historical fiction, YA about sleazy corporations Reviews of the Week: Picture Book: Count with Maisy, Cheep, Cheep, Cheep! by Lucy Cousins Fiction: I Was Here […]

New swag!

ballet cat tote

“Katie! There’s a pretty package for you!” Martha said this morning when the mail arrived. For me? Sure enough, the holographic, hot pink package was addressed to me, and inside was… a galley of Bob Shea’s early reader Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret (Disney-Hyperion, May 2015), a super-cute tote bag, and a letter addressed […]

Most popular boys’ names 2025?

brennan_unspoken

I read a lot of supernatural romance YA — for the Mag, for the Guide, and for fun — and I’ve been noticing how many dreamy guys in recent series are named either Jared or Cole. Bonus points for a Jared/Cole in a love triangle with the female protagonist, or if the protagonist and said […]

Be-bop-a-skoodley!

russell-brown_little melba

These new picture-book biographies of African American music pioneers give primary readers something to sing about during Black History Month — and all year long. Seven-year-old Melba Liston chose to learn to play the trombone — an unconventional choice for a girl. By age seventeen, she was touring alongside the jazz greats. As a female […]