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Review of Twenty Yawns

smiley_twenty yawns

Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley; 
illus. by Lauren Castillo Preschool    Two Lions    32 pp. 4/16    978-1-4778-2635-5    $17.99    g Lucy and her parents stay late at the beach, playing in the waves, walking the length of the shore, rolling down dunes, building a sandcastle. Everyone is happily worn out, and Mom decrees an early bedtime. So […]

Review of The Lie Tree


The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge Middle School, High School    Amulet/Abrams    378 pp. 4/16    978-1-4197-1895-3    $17.95 Everything in this audacious novel is on the cusp or in limbo, setting up delicious tensions and thematic riches. The time is nineteenth-century England just after Darwin’s theory of evolution has thrown the scientific world into turmoil; the setting […]

Julie Berry on The Passion of Dolssa

Photo: Bruce Lucier

In our March/April 2016 issue, Horn Book Magazine editor Martha V. Parravano talked with Julie Berry about how she researched and evoked thirteenth-century Provincia. Read the starred review of The Passion of Dolssa. Martha V. Parravano: An astounding amount of research went into this book — and surely you must now be the world’s leading […]

Let’s hear it for spring

spring_karas_on the farm

Winter is almost over! Time to head outdoors. Four very different picture books take readers outside, whether it’s on a working farm, in an imaginary tree fort, for a day out with two best friends (one is a bulldog), or going up on a mountaintop in search of a lost kite. On the Farm, at […]

Peter Dickinson, 1927-2015


One-of-a-kind British writer Peter Dickinson died in December at age eighty-eight. His work cannot be easily categorized: a prolific author, he wrote everything from adult detective novels to speculative YA science fiction to heart-stopping adventures to intriguing almost-fantasies. The protagonists in his work for children range from an American-missionary boy who finds himself trekking through […]

Review of Ling & Ting: Together in All Weather


Ling & Ting: Together in All Weather by Grace Lin; illus. by the author Primary   Little, Brown   44 pp. 11/15   978-0-316-33549-2   $16.00 In this fourth book in the sweet and funny easy-reader series (Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same, rev. 7/10, and sequels), six brief chapters take the twins through the 
seasons, together. In […]

Review of Murphy in the City

provensen_murphy in the city

Murphy in the City by Alice Provensen; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Simon   32 pp. 11/15   978-1-4424-1971-1   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-1832-4   $10.99 The small, busy, curious, noisy farm terrier from A Day in the Life of Murphy (rev. 7/03) is on his way to the big city with his family for a day of […]

And now, a word from the “Real” Committee

caldecott committee

We are privileged today to hear directly from Rachel G. Payne, coordinator of early childhood services at Brooklyn Public Library and chair of the 2016 Randolph Caldecott Award Selection Committee! We’re so grateful and excited that she took the time and effort to reach out to all of us. Without further ado, here’s Rachel   […]

Review of Game Changer: John McLendon and the Secret Game

coy_game changer

Game Changer: John McLendon and the Secret Game by John Coy; illus. by Randy DuBurke Primary, Intermediate   Carolrhoda   32 pp. 10/15   978-1-4677-2604-7   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4677-8810-6   $17.99 Based closely on a 1996 New York Times article by Scott Ellsworth, this picture book tells the dramatic story of an illegal college basketball game planned and played […]

Picking up dropped stitches

if you plant

We are down to the wire, book-coverage-wise; after this post, it’s on to gearing up for our end-of-the-year Mock Caldecott vote. We try to discuss as many eligible picture books as we can here, but inevitably we miss some. This post is intended to catch some of those missed titles. I’m taking a slightly unorthodox approach […]