“Because poetry and hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you”*

Lullaby (For a Black Mother) by Langston Hughes

*from The House at Pooh Corner Poetry can be used to examine and celebrate the world we live in and the worlds we invent. A great way to observe National Poetry Month is to share the following exemplary poetry books for young children featuring the calming rhythms of lullaby, the humorous juxtaposition of portmanteaux, the […]

Sleepy Mole’s Moving Day app review

sleepy mole menu

Sleepy Mole and his teddy bear need a new place to rest because construction workers have intruded upon their burrow, making it too bright and too noisy to sleep. And so begins the choose-your-own-adventure storybook app Sleepy Mole’s Moving Day (Ginger Whale, 2011). On his quest to secure a quiet abode, Sleepy Mole encounters an […]

Boys will be boys: middle-grade adventures

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From golems to pirate kings, dragons to wilderness quests, these action-oriented middle-grade novels featuring strong boy protagonists are packed with magic, intrigue, and page-turning plot twists. Sammy is a victim of bullying in Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple’s B.U.G. (Big Ugly Guy). Things improve when he starts a band with a new student named Skink. […]

My Epic Fairy Tale Fail

my epic fairy tale fail

Once upon a time — last Friday, March 1st, to be exact — my friend and former writing professor Anna Staniszewski released My Epic Fairy Tale Fail (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, March 2013), sequel to her debut novel My Very UnFairy Tale Life. Returning with her deliciously droll wit and a brand new mission for her now-thirteen-year-old […]

Mr. Sandman: Fear of the Dark app review

Mr. Sandman menu screen

Mr. Sandman: Fear of the Dark (August 2012), the debut storybook app from French developer Hocusbookus, is one of the most arresting examples of digital application technology I have ever seen. The combination of intricately layered backgrounds (clearly influenced by shadow puppetry aesthetics), deep nighttime colors, an eerie musical underscore, and interactive elements breathes life […]

Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box

Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box

From down in the bottom of the Horn Book boxes comes JonArno Lawson’s newest paperback collection of children’s poetry from Canadian publisher The Porcupine’s Quill. Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box (September 2012), a compilation of poems culled from one of Lawson’s earlier projects for falling outside its narrative scope, features […]

Love among the ruins: romance in YA fiction

Ask the Passengers

Four recommended YA romances.

Pyramids 3D app review

pyramids menu

Touch Press, developers of The Elements and X is for X-Ray, present a virtual odyssey through the ancient monuments of the Giza Plateau in Pyramids 3D: Wonders of the Old Kingdom (October 2012). 3D imaging and zoom capabilities allow for 360 degree rotation and manipulation of space and objects in this informative and interactive e-book, […]

X Is for X-Ray app review

x is for x-ray menu

Touch Press, developers of such apps as The Elements and March of the Dinosaurs, presents X Is for X-Ray (2011), an interactive alphabet book designed to elucidate the ins and outs of everyday objects through x-ray photography. With a series of swipes and pinches (swipe up for natural light, down for x-ray, left and right […]

Dragon, Robot, Gatorbunny e-book review

dragon, robot, gatorbunny cover

Poet Calef Brown, author and illustrator of such books as Flamingos on the Roof and We Go Together (which dropped January 15), transforms his paperback doodle book, Dragon, Robot, Gatorbunny: Pick one. Draw it. Make it funny., into an imaginative and interactive e-book (Chronicle, print book published April 2012; e-book November 2012). The chimerical menagerie […]