Happy birthday, Harry!

harry birthday cake

Happy birthday to one of kidlit’s most beloved and backlashed big-name characters, Harry Potter! (He’d be thirty-four this year. Holy hippogriff.) The Horn Book has had a lot to say — good, bad, and damn, these books are long — about The Boy Who Lived over the years. Here’s a roundup of reviews, articles, and […]

Harry Potter read-alikes

duane_so you want to be a wizard

These titles — all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine — offer a mix of magic, adventure, humor, and suspense that will enchant Harry Potter fans. So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane [Young Wizards series] (Delacorte, 1983; reissued by Harcourt, 2003) A splendid, unusual fantasy tells of the efforts of two […]

The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends – Play & Explore app review

very hungry caterpillar menu

Digital reproductions of beautiful watercolor-painted collages from some of Eric Carle’s most popular picture books take center stage as “3D pop-ups” in a new, colorful app, The Very Hungry CaterpillarTM & Friends – Play & Explore (StoryToys, 2014). Though this activity app for the youngest users does not contain any of Carle’s stories, readers familiar […]

Reading about WWI

freedman_war to end all wars

One hundred years ago today, the first shots of World War I were fired. These books about the WWI era — fiction and nonfiction for a range of ages — are all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide. Picture Books The text of Timothy Decker’s unusual picture book The Letter […]

Frog Fridays booklist

bishop_Frogs

Leapin’ lizards! (Oh, wait.) Here are some nonfiction books and picture books about our “phavorite” amphibians. Nonfiction Arnosky, Jim All About Frogs 32 pp. Scholastic 2002. ISBN 0-590-48164-9 (Gr. K-3) This book informs with a definition of amphibians, the differences between frogs and toads, identifying markings on various species, anatomical features, habits, and how frog […]

Shout Science! app review

shout science menu

Shout Science! (Scott Dubois, 2013) is a comic-style nonfiction app that tells three stories of figures from the European Scientific Revolution. The first biography follows Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717), a watercolor painter and insect collector in Frankfurt, Germany. Merian observed the life cycle of butterflies, including metamorphosis, and documented it in two books she wrote […]

And straight on ’til morning

finding neverland musical

The other day my friend’s four-year-old daughter asked me, “Guess what I wished for?” I was a little nervous about this — after all, isn’t it bad luck to tell others your wish? — but she insisted. “A puppy? A pony? A baby elephant?” “No, it wasn’t an animal at all. It was the second […]

Kidlit crafts

epbot wand display

Lately I’ve been drooling over the craft tutorials at EPBOT: Geekery, Girliness, and Goofing Off, another blog written by Jen Yates, mastermind behind the genius and hilarious Cake Wrecks. (If you’re not familiar with Cake Wrecks, start with “Grammar geeks, UNITE!” and gorgeous children’s lit cakes.) EPBOT is pretty much what it sounds like from […]

Links we love

madeline cake

We’re on Twitter — follow us @HornBook (and Roger Sutton at @RogerReads), then come say hi! This week we shared these kidlit-related links: Beautiful Propaganda Posters Honor the Districts in The Hunger Games (Design Taxi) Classic Kids’ Books Cakes (Cake Wrecks) Ten Things that Make an Editor Stop Reading Your Manuscript (Elizabeth Law Reads blog) […]

Catchy titles

myers_on a clear day

I was entering some new book titles into our database this morning and ran across the late, great Walter Dean Myers’s novel On a Clear Day (Crown, September 2014). Now for the last hour I’ve had Barbra Streisand in my head singing “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” from the musical and film […]