About Shara Hardeson

Shara Hardeson is editorial assistant at The Horn Book Guide.

The Poetry App review

poetry app dickinson

The Poetry App (Josephine Hart Poetry Foundation, 2012) may not be specifically geared toward kids, but I think it has a lot to offer younger users. First and foremost, the app presents over one hundred classic poems from sixteen of the world’s greatest poets — including W. H. Auden, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, […]

The New Kid on the Block app review

new kid on the block cover

National Poetry Month is upon us, and this week’s app review comes from renowned children’s poet Jack Prelutsky. The New Kid on the Block (Wanderful Interactive Storybooks, 2013), an interactive poetry app based on Prelutsky’s book of the same name (HarperCollins, 1984), features eighteen poems, a cast of strangely delightful characters, and exuberant animations. From […]

Word to the wise

soho teen2

With moving day just around the corner, we’ve been spending our days cleaning out old drawers, packing boxes, ordering new stationery, etc., etc. And as we update our contact info for publishers, reviewers, and contributors, it just seems like an appropriate time to reiterate some of our submission guidelines for review copies. First and foremost, […]

Lazoo Zoo! app review

lazoo zoo menu

It’s always time to feed the animals at Lazoo Zoo! (2013). Move from habitat to habitat dishing out all sorts of delicious foods — from reasonable fare such as bananas and grapes to more ridiculous entrees such as burgers, birthday cake, and even a saxophone — to a motley crew of eleven animal residents. The […]

LEGO DUPLO Zoo app review

lego duplo cinema

The LEGO Group’s LEGO DUPLO Zoo app (2012) opens with a prompt for users to choose from “watch” and “play” options. In “play” mode, Giraffe and Bunny receive an airmail package addressed to Lion during their rousing game of badminton. The friends devise a plan to deliver the package to its rightful owner. They head […]

Five questions for Marilyn Nelson

Marilyn Nelson

Marilyn Nelson is an acclaimed author and poet whose numerous contributions to children’s and young adult literature include Carver: A Life in Poems (Front, 13–16 years); A Wreath for Emmett Till (illus. by Philippe Lardy; Houghton, 13–16 years); and Freedom Business: Including a Narrative of the Life & Adventures of Venture, a Native of Africa […]

From The Guide: Picture Book Builders

ashburn_fort that jack built

Judges and winners of the 2013 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards came together in early October for “The Horn Book at Simmons: Building Character,” a day-long event designed to give participants an opportunity to discuss how characters are constructed, and how they reach out from the page, building bridges to young readers in the process. In […]

Scruffy Kitty app review

scruffy kitty page

Scruffy Kitty (Winged Chariot, 2010), a charming interactive e-book aimed at toddlers and preschoolers, tells the simple story of an alley cat’s typical day on the street — from mouse-chasing to garbage-eating to singing out of tune. But when bedtime approaches, Scruffy Kitty finds himself outside a cozy house looking in. The slight text leaves […]

Meet Millie app review

meet millie menu

Children’s storybook apps have all begun to look alike, but MegaPops‘s interactive reading experience Meet Millie (2011) stands alone as the pick of the litter. This first book in the Millie Was Here series chronicles the adventures of a seemingly mild-mannered lap dog — who also just happens to be a hero. The intentionally cliché […]

You are what you read

bella reading

From The Outsiders to The Perks of Being a Wallflower to the Twilight saga, teen fiction has long used protagonists’ reading taste as a characterization device. It’s a fast way to say a lot about a character with very little information (or effort, depending on the novel). For instance, avid Jane Austen fans show up […]