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Reading for Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

The Islamic month of Ramadan, a solemn holiday of fasting from dawn to sunset, charity, and additional prayer, is about to begin. Ramadan ends with the joyous feasting of the Eid al-Fitr celebration. These books for young readers — all recommended at the time of their publication by The Horn Book Magazine and Guide — […]

So Many Butts! app review

Having just co-written (with my Family Reading blog co-parent Kitty Flynn) the article “The Straight Poop on Potty Humor” for the May/June 2017 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Humor, how could I pass up the So Many Butts! app? (Editora Caixote, January 2017; iOS and Android) I went in with some trepidation, expecting Everyone Poops–level […]

Big little world

Roger’s post this morning about cozy mysteries reminded me that I spent my Sunday devouring Liane Moriarty‘s Big Little Lies. I loved the recent HBO miniseries starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley, and the book is just as thoroughly enjoyable. My boyfriend asked me which I liked better, and I replied, “I like […]

How to Make Electricity (Lite) app review

How to Make Electricity (Crayon Box, 2015; iOS only) invites you to experiment with various objects to explore how electricity works. The app offers four “labs” covering different electricity-related topics: “Battery,” “Hydroelectric Generator,” “Thermal Power Generator,” and “Solar Panel.” Battery is available for free in the “Lite” version; the full version with all four labs […]

PotterCon Boston

It will probably come as no surprise to frequent OOTB readers that Shoshana, Cindy, and I were some of the first attendees to arrive at PotterCon Boston on Saturday afternoon. Less a con and more a low-key party, this event was the “the first annual Boston day-drinking and mingling destination for [grown-up] Harry Potter fans.” […]

Thanks, moms!

Happy Mother’s Day to those celebrating, especially our own mothers and our mom friends! Here are a few recommended books, articles, and blog posts featuring moms and Mother’s Day; find plenty more about mothers (and dads, and grandparents, and other kinds of loving caregivers) over at Family Reading. This week’s mom-themed Reviews of the Week: […]

Home Boov Pop! Puzzle Adventure app review

Home is the 3D animated film adaptation (DreamWorks Animation, March 2015; PG) of Adam Rex’s The True Meaning of Smekday. Shoshana and I went to see it in theaters and I loved it. I loved it very much. Home Boov Pop! Puzzle Adventure (DreamWorks Animation SKG/Behaviour Interactive, 2015; iOS and Android) is a movie tie-in […]

Cinco de Mayo 2017

It’s Cinco de Mayo! Celebrate with this updated list of books starring the holiday itself, Mexican and Mexican American protagonists, and the Spanish language. All were recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and Guide at the time of their publication; reviews are reprinted from The Horn Book Guide Online. Grade levels are only suggestions; the […]

Happy Star Wars Day!

Over at our newly de-carbonited Instagram account, Guide editor and Star Wars fan Cindy suggests celebrating with an out-of-this-world book: “Use the power of the #hbguide and the #hbguideonline to find #starwars books for young padawans across the galaxy.” Pictured, reviewed in recent and forthcoming issues of The Horn Book Guide: Tales from a Galaxy […]

Teach Your Monster to Read app review

I’m officially smitten with the Usborne Foundation’s phonics and reading game Teach Your Monster to Read (Teach Monster Games Ltd., 2014; iOS, Android, and desktop). Designed in collaboration with leading academics at the U.K.’s University of Roehampton to cover the first two years of literacy learning, this app serves as a nice complement to any […]