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Kitty Flynn’s favorite BGHB winner(s)

big momma

When we asked our staff and reviewers to name their favorite Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners, many of them struggled to choose just one. Kitty Flynn, executive editor of The Horn Book Guide, sent us her six favorites: In Big Momma Makes the World (Candlewick, 2003 Picture Book Award winner), Phyllis Root’s earthy text is […]

Just imagine

Nino Wrestles the World

Pretend play can be a quiet and contemplative activity for one or a boisterous group effort. Four new picture books successfully capture the fluid boundary between real and imaginary in the minds of young children. Pint-sized Niño, fearless luchador, Popsicle enthusiast, and reluctantly attentive big brother, dons his red mask and blue-banded tighty-whities, ready to […]


Doll Bones by Holly Black

It was the little black velvet drawstring purse that caught my eye. The strip of antique-y eyelet cloth on which it sat was a quaint touch, to be sure, but the purse was what beckoned me. The purse, its mysterious contents, and cloth were secured with a black grosgrain ribbon around Holly Black’s newest book, […]

Get outside

Peep and Ducky

Three new picture books for young children feature the great outdoors as the setting for small, familiar dramas. On the nonfiction side, a new photo-essay celebrates a school garden as an outdoor classroom and gathering place for the school community. In David Martin’s Peep and Ducky, two bird pals meet in the park for an […]

Dragon Brush app review

dragon brush menu

“Quite a long time ago, in a small village in ancient China, there lived a boy named Bing-Wen.” So begins Dragon Brush (Small Planet Digital, 2012), an interactive picture book app created by John Solimine and Andy Hullinger. Based on a Chinese folktale (no sources are given), the story follows a young rabbit artist, Bing-Wen, […]

Animals out and about

sturges_construction kitties_300x300

Four new titles for preschoolers star animal characters, every young child’s favorite picture book stand-in. In Construction Kitties by Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges, four indisputably cute overall-clad kitties don hard hats and hop into colorful earthmovers to dig into a kid-friendly building project revealed on the back endpapers. Shari Halpern’s gouache illustrations channel Byron Barton’s […]

Goodnight Moon app review

goodnight moon app title screen

Devotees of Margaret Wise Brown’s sleepytime classic — preschoolers and their grownups alike — will welcome Loud Crow’s Goodnight Moon app (November 2012). There are just enough interactive opportunities but not too many to overwhelm young children. The app’s opening page greets users with an image of the book, as well as images of Goodnight […]

Cars and trucks and preschoolers who go

Little Tug

Toot, toot! Beep, beep! Vrrrooommm! Move out of the way for these four transportation-themed picture books. With the perfect blend of information and silliness, preschoolers will want to take them out for a spin again and again. The hero of Stephen Savage’s Little Tug isn’t the tallest or the fastest or the biggest boat in […]

Review of Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat by Leo Landry; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Houghton     32 pp. 8/12     978-0-547-24969-8     $12.99 Landry’s cheery watercolor and pencil illustrations and calm palette signal that this Halloween story is more treat than trick; together, the straightforward text and simple compositions build suspense and inject humor […]

Diseased bodies, blood, and bones

The Book of Blood

Sounds like the makings for a horror movie or witch’s brew. However, the topics covered in four new nonfiction books are less gory than they are invitations to broaden readers’ understanding of the history of humankind. HP Newquist’s The Book of Blood: From Legends and Leeches to Vampires and Veins provides an intriguing, encyclopedic profile […]