Kitty Flynn

About Kitty Flynn

Kitty Flynn is executive editor of The Horn Book Guide.

Tricks and treats

seeger_i used to be afraid

Spiders, trolls, mummified cats, and monsters with three heads. Oh, my! Perfect for Halloween story hours, here are four new picture books that will give young audiences something to be (not too) frightened about. For more new recommended Halloween picture books, see 2015 Horn Boo! I Used to Be Afraid by Laura Vaccaro Seeger is […]

Review of Fire Engine No. 9

austin_fire engine no. 9

Fire Engine No. 9 by Mike Austin; illus. by the author Preschool   Random   40 pp. 9/15   978-0-553-51095-9   $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-97428-1   $19.99 e-book ed. 978-0-553-51096-6   $10.99 Firefighter-wannabes ride along as Engine No. 9 races across town to put out a fire. At the firehouse, a loudspeaker blares, “ALERT! ALERT! FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!” The crew springs […]


idle_sea rex

…and the livin’ is easy. There’s no better time to dive into picture books, especially books about summer adventures. Grab a towel (and some sunscreen), pack a lunch, and soak up three new stories about memorable trips to the beach and one book about everyone’s favorite hot-weather treat. A companion to Tea Rex and Camp […]

Review of Vegetables in Underwear

chapman_vegetables in underwear

Vegetables in Underwear by Jared Chapman; 
illus. by the author Preschool   Abrams Appleseed/Abrams   32 pp. 4/15   978-1-4197-1464-1   $14.95 Vegetables are usually not funny. Underpants often are. Vegetables in underwear? Guaranteed preschool hilarity. A head of broccoli gets things started on the copyright and dedication pages with a striptease down to his red skivvies. A similarly […]

Hooray for Grandma!

wells_use your words sophie2

Four new picture books celebrate the special place grandmothers have in their grandchildren’s lives. Being a new big sister’s much-needed ally, introducing a young child to the pleasures of gardening, getting serious about pretend play as a custodial grandparent, or nurturing a budding artist’s creative spark, grandmothers’ roles are vibrant and varied. Just like the […]

Review of How to Pee

spector_how to pee

How to Pee: Potty Training for Boys by Todd Spector; illus. by Arree Chung Preschool   Holt   32 pp. 4/15   978-0-8050-9773-3   $12.99   g This lighthearted peeing primer by a family doctor/father encourages both kids and parents to add some fun to the sometimes-fraught process. In an introductory note “Dr. Todd” explains his approach. When he was […]

“Every book I read’s a journey…”

mass literacy logo

I love this song and video that singer-songwriter Alastair Moock and his eight-year-old daughter, Elsa, made to support Mass Literacy. The song celebrates reading and libraries — and the video features cameos by librarians from my hometown library!   Download the song here to donate.

Review of Dinosaur vs. Mommy

shea_dinosaur vs. mommy

Dinosaur vs. Mommy by Bob Shea; illus. by the author Preschool   Disney-Hyperion   32 pp. 3/15   978-1-4231-6086-1   $16.99 In his sixth showdown, Shea’s feisty red dino challenges Mommy all day long. From “Mommy taking a quick shower!” to a trip to the store (“roar! cookies! roar! cereal! roar! chips!”) — poor Mommy doesn’t really stand a […]

Review of Use Your Words, Sophie!

wells_use your words sophie2

Use Your Words, Sophie! by Rosemary Wells; illus. by the author Preschool   Viking   24 pp. 3/15   978-0-670-01663-1   $16.99   g Mouse-child Sophie uses lots of words. She welcomes her new baby sister home from the hospital in Jellyfish language (“Jubbabubba”); she growls that she’s “too big for naps” in Hyena language (“Grabvjkloz!”). But her distracted parents […]

Review of Tomboy


Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince; illus. by the author Middle School, High School   Zest Books   256 pp. 9/14   Paper ed. 978-1-936976-55-3   $15.99 e-book ed. 978-1-936976-56-0   $15.99 “When you don’t look or act like what everyone has been told is the norm, you get proverbially barfed on a lot.” In an often funny, sometimes […]