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My Bike

my bike

Ah, one of my favorite subjects: picture books for the very young. This year some of my most-loved books fall into that category, including several we’re talking about on Calling Caldecott this fall. We all know that these books face an uphill battle when it comes to Caldecott recognition. But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve […]

Review of When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt

bang_when sophie's feelings are really hurt

When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt by Molly Bang; illus. by the author Primary   Blue Sky/Scholastic   40 pp. 10/15   978-0-545-78831-1   $17.99   g In Bang’s now-classic When Sophie Gets Angry…Really, Really Angry, Sophie coped with a volcanic episode of rage by communing with a favorite beech tree; both Sophie and the tree are back in […]

Rumpeta-ing through Reading: Picture Books for the Very Young

My daughter Emily has always been a reading omnivore: we have photos of her poring over books from the time she could first sit up. Everything was of interest: catalogs featuring photographs of children; books verging on toys, with flaps or holes or even wheels; concept books; story books. Gradually, certain authors and books became […]

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

supertruck

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

weatherford_voiceoffreedom

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? […]