Odd Duck

Odd Duck

First, let me remind you that my expertise is not comic books or graphic novels. I DID grow up reading lots and lots of comic books of the Archie & Veronica and Baby Huey variety and have read many graphic novels for young adults. The TOON books have their own special place in my classroom. I am […]

That Is NOT a Good Idea!

That is not a good idea

Those of you with children under the age of five are experts on Mo Willems — Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie, the Pigeon. This year’s must-have book for the Willems fan is That Is NOT a Good Idea! It’s a hilarious hybrid: part silent movie, part picture book; part cautionary tale, part inside joke. But […]

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

9780316200639

Mr. Tiger, you rascal. The first time I saw art from this book, I wondered if I might be suffering from leaf motif overload. Between Jon Klassen and Lane Smith and a heap of others, I was beginning to tire of stylized leaves and trees, especially the ones that are computer manipulated and repeated. But […]

Melissa Sweet, part deux

little red writing

Take a minute away from the Thanksgiving prep to think about the last of Melissa Sweet’s 2013 trilogy. I will keep it short so you’ll have time to brine your turkey. Puns and plays on words are the order of the day in this humorous take on how to write a story. Sweet interprets Joan […]

Melissa Sweet to the third power

sweet_faves

Well, I hardly know where to start. Brave Girl Melissa Sweet is making a particularly big splash (and not just A Splash of Red, either). She has sharpened her Little Red Writing instruments and illustrated three books this year. She is not only a prolific illustrator, but one who loves research and creates stunning books […]

The Dark

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

Come on, people, hasn’t the man won enough? Wasn’t his acceptance speech so wonderful that he could never ever be improved upon? Haven’t I already reviewed just about every book Klassen has written? Do I really have to talk about this one? Okay, I will. Laszlo is afraid of the dark. (So afraid that he has […]

Daniel Beaty on Knock Knock

Photo: Nathan Yungerberg

In the November/December 2013 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer Robin Smith asked author Daniel Beaty about making his own childhood experience relatable to many readers in his picture book Knock Knock. Read the review here. Robin L. Smith: Your own story is so specific — your dad was in jail — but we never find out […]

Review of Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me

knock knock

Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty; illus. by Bryan Collier Preschool, Primary     Little, Brown     40 pp. 12/13     978-0-316-20917-5     $18.00 Each morning, a little boy looks forward to playing the knock-knock game with his father. The boy pretends to be asleep until his dad approaches. “Then I get up and jump into […]

Mr. Wuffles!

Mr Wuffles

First off, let me say that I am not a dyed-in-the-wool Wiesner fan. Sometimes I don’t understand his storytelling, and sometimes I find his art a little too perfect, maybe even a little cold. So it will surprise some of my children’s book friends (who might or might not have heard me rant about Wiesner […]

Journey

journey

Way back in September, we started the blog with a few possible titles and asked for suggestions. The exclamation points started flyin’ when Aaron Becker’s Journey was not on the list. Outrage! Horror! Well, sometimes books don’t make it to the hinterlands of not-New York and not-Boston, and I had some scrambling to do. I’m so […]