Boats for Papa

boats for papa

This is one gorgeous picture book. It’s perhaps even more remarkable, given that it’s by a debut artist. Since its publication last June, it has gotten lots of love. And even more love. Most reviews refer to the way the story tugs at the heartstrings: “A weeper.” “Heart-breaking.” I have to say that the message I took away […]



Supertruck. So simple, so clever, so appealing both visually and thematically. And such a book for the very, very young. It will need all its superpowers to compete on the Caldecott table, against books with more elaborate and sophisticated art. But some of my favorite picture books of 2015 are for the youngest readers, including this […]

Review of Buddy and Earl

fergus_buddy and earl

Buddy and Earl by Maureen Fergus; illus. by Carey Sookocheff Primary   Groundwood   32 pp. 8/15   978-1-55498-712-2   $16.95 e-book ed. 978-1-55498-713-9   $14.95 Sweet, clueless mutt Buddy meets a “strange-looking thing” inside a box in the living room, who introduces himself as Earl. Earl claims to be first a racecar, then a giraffe, then a sea urchin, […]

Last Stop on Market Street

de la pena_last stop on market street

And we’re off, with the first book discussion of the season. We are trying to present the books more generally in order of publication this year, in hopes that readers will have a better chance of knowing the books as they’re discussed. We’re starting with a book that was published early in the year, in […]

On the radar

Calling Caldecott - on the radar

It’s WAAAY too early to predict the books that will rise to the top of the Caldecott pile when the committee meets to make their choices next January. So today we three Calling Caldecott bloggers will simply offer some titles that have caught our attention. (Or ones that we think might catch the committee’s attention. Or books we just want to talk about […]

Forging a path


Four new picture-book biographies focus on trailblazers, from pioneering social and political activists to groundbreaking dancers and musicians, to inspire a new generation of children. Carole Boston Weatherford’s majestic new book, Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, chronicles the civil-rights icon’s life from her beginnings as the child of […]

Sergio Ruzzier on Two Mice

ruzzier_two mice

In our September/October issue, HB Mag editor Martha Parravano asked Sergio Ruzzier about choosing the perfect trim size for Two Mice. Read the full starred review of Two Mice here. Martha Parravano: Two Mice has an unusually small trim size. (Of course, it doesn’t have many words, either.) What was your thinking behind that decision? […]

Review of Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War

sheinkin_most dangerous

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret 
History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin Middle School, High School   Roaring Brook   361 pp. 9/15   978-1-59643-952-8   $19.99   g Without a wasted word or scene, and with the timing and prowess of a writer of thrillers, Sheinkin takes on a spectacularly complex story — and makes it […]

Five questions for Steve Sheinkin

Steve Sheinkin 2.13

Steve Sheinkin’s young adult history books — including Bomb: The Race to Build — and Steal — the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon (a Newbery Honor Book, a National Book Award finalist, and the winner of both the Sibert Award and the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults) and The Port Chicago 50: […]

Review of The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate

kelly_curious world of calpurnia tate

The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly Intermediate, Middle School     Holt     309 pp. 7/15     978-0-8050-9744-3     $16.99     g Kelly returns to turn-of-the-last-century small-town central Texas to continue the story of nascent scientist Callie Vee. Kelly quickly fills readers in on essential background (only girl in the family, with six brothers; […]