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Kitty Flynn

About Kitty Flynn

Kitty Flynn is executive editor of The Horn Book Guide.

On Angela Johnson’s “Family Is What You Have” (from March/April 1997)

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Award-winning author Angela Johnson (three Coretta Scott King awards, the Michael L. Printz Award in 2004, the 1991 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award—not to mention being a 2003 MacArthur Fellow), contributed “Family Is What You Have” to the Magazine‘s Family Reading issue in 1997. Her message of embracing difference is as powerful today as […]

On Ashley Waring’s “Reading on the Spectrum” (from Sept/Oct 2010)

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

“Many people see Ferdinand as a pacifist. I see him as a bull on the autism spectrum: confined to a private world, comforted by his rituals.” Children’s librarian and mom of a son with autism, Ashley Waring writes about her struggles with and strategies for engaging her child in books in her article, “Reading on […]

Review of Rescue Squad No. 9

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Rescue Squad No. 9 by Mike Austin; illus. by the author Preschool    Random    40 pp. 9/16    978-1-101-93662-7    $16.99    g As in Fire Engine No. 9 (rev. 9/15), Austin live-streams an intense rescue mission, immediately pulling readers into the action. His dynamic illustrations and forceful text are skillfully incorporated in a propulsive, left-to-right design that telegraphs […]

On Cynthia Voigt’s “Have a Carrot” (from March/April 1997)

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“High on the list of favorite read-aloud books in the house where I was the Mommy is The Runaway Bunny.” Newbery Medalist (for Dicey’s Song) Cynthia Voigt reflects on the classic picture book by Margaret Wise Brown in her article, “Have a Carrot,” published in 1997 in the Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: “Family Reading.” […]

Review of Leave Me Alone!

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Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol; illus. by the author Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp. 9/16    978-1-62672-441-9    $17.99 Graphic novelist Brosgol (Anya’s Ghost, rev. 7/11) makes an impressive picture-book debut with this inventive story about an old woman’s quest to knit in peace. The tale begins with traditional narrative trappings: “Once there was an old […]

Transgender lives

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Last November Ellen Wittlinger — author of Parrotfish, the first young adult novel starring a transgender protagonist — took a second look at her groundbreaking book and concluded: “Parrotfish Needed an Update: The Rapidly Changing Language of Transgender Awareness.” Along with her article, we posted a roundup of available books for children and teens featuring […]

Review of The Saddest Toilet in the World

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The Saddest Toilet in the World by Sam Apple; illus. by Sam Ricks Preschool     Aladdin/Simon     32 pp. 6/16     978-1-4814-5122-2     $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-5123-9     $10.99 Potty training is serious business for all involved, but what of the unsung toilet? Does anyone consider its feelings? Apple and Ricks do just that in this laugh-out-loud respite from charts, […]

Review of Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks

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Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks by Skila Brown; illus. by Bob Kolar Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 3/16    978-0-7636-6543-2    $16.99 Brown begins this playful and illuminating collection by taking a bite out of the most infamous of these ocean predators, the great white shark: “you’re no bully, / just a big attention hog. So / move […]

Folktales redux

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Three recent picture books offer fresh takes on old tales from the likes of Grimm and Aesop; a fourth paints fairy-tale baddies in a more favorable, relatable light. Holly Hobbie’s handsome edition of Hansel & Gretel strikes just the right balance between scary and not-too. The deep green forest is mysterious but inviting, its darkness […]

Review of When Spring Comes

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When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes; 
illus. by Laura Dronzek Preschool   Greenwillow   40 pp. 2/16   978-0-06-233139-7   $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-06-233140-3   $18.89 “Before Spring comes, / the trees look like / black sticks against the sky. // But if you wait, / Spring will bring / leaves and blossoms.” In a gently rhythmic text and lush, […]