Siân Gaetano

About Siân Gaetano

Siân Gaetano is editorial assistant for The Horn Book Guide. Follow her on Twitter @KidLitChick.

Seeing yourself in literature

mirror book

I can’t really remember if I looked for literature with kids like me as a child. Did I read books about quiet, geeky girls because I could relate? Or did I read books about quiet, geeky girls because that’s what was available? Did I search for a character with whom I could identify? Or could […]

“What do you think of my labyrinth?” part 2

moulton_keepers of the labyrinth title page

I don’t know anything about this book, but it came across my desk the other day and I had to point it out. Look: You, dear cover, are not a labyrinth. You are a puzzle. Or a maze. You look neat. Really neat. But you’re still not a labyrinth. The title page, however, has totally […]

Toca Band app review

toca band title screen

Having just experienced the sheer bizarre joy that is Toca Band (Toca Boca, 2012), I fear it may be impossible to express exactly why this app is so much fun. But I will try. Oh, I will try. The setting is simple: we are in a park. A large, boldly-hued stage with three tiers is […]

Easy reading

shea_ballet cat

With summer coming to a close and school peeking its head around the corner, children can get into the swing of things with the following titles about kid-friendly subjects, from dance and princesses to raccoons and robots. It’s that age-old childhood dilemma: “What do you want to play today?” In Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret […]

“What do you think of my labyrinth?”

labyrinth at simmons

As many of you know, the Horn Book offices are located on the Simmons College campus. Today, looking out my window, I can see a construction crew working on Simmons’s newest addition: a labyrinth. Now, having grown up with the movie Labyrinth, it wasn’t until I took an undergraduate course at Clark University that I […]

The Cat in the Hat — Read & Learn digital book app review

catReadLearn_Screenshot1

Spend a rainy afternoon with the mischievous Cat in the Hat in Oceanhouse Media‘s brand-new interactive digital book app The Cat in the Hat — Read & Learn (July 2015). After you leave the home screen in “read to me” mode (there’s also a “read it myself” option for reading practice), the energetic narration begins […]

Tiny Hands Raccoon Treehouse app review

raccoon treehouse title screen

As the TinyHands Raccoon Treehouse app (TinyHands, 2013) opens, you’re greeted by a raccoon, gently bobbing in the air, balloons attached to his suspenders. Hit the “play” button and you’re brought down to the base of a tree (past tunnels and living quarters burrowed into the trunk) where there are a number of games to […]

7(.5) Totally Useless Questions for David Hyde Costello

lambert_crow of his own

After working the Horn Book booth at Saturday’s Hubbub Festival, I met up with David Hyde Costello, author/illustrator of Here They Come, I Can Help, and Little Pig Joins the Band before his scheduled event: a reading of his most recent illustrated work, A Crow of His Own (written by Megan Dowd Lambert). I could […]

Review of Nimona

stevenson_nimona

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson; illus. by the author Middle School, High School   HarperTeen   266 pp. 5/15   978-0-06-227823-4   $17.99 Paper ed. 978-0-06-227822-7   $12.99 Ballister Blackheart — ex-knight and current 
supervillain — is focused on the destruction of the Institute of Law Enforcement and Heroics. He also wouldn’t mind getting even with Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, a knight-school […]

Cover boys, Hollywood edition

JGL young

I seem to have entered a time warp in which the pre-teen/teen versions of ridiculously attractive males have come forward in time to model for intermediate book covers. Here’s itty-bitty Zac Efron in Firefly and his lookalike on the cover of D. S. Thornton’s Scrap City (October, 2015):   And here’s a young Joseph Gordon […]