Byron Barton on My Bus

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In the March/April 2014 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer K. T. Horning asked author/illustrator Byron Barton about My Bus, his latest transportation celebration. Read the starred review here. K. T. Horning: Joe from My Bus and Sam from My Car (Greenwillow, 2001) seem to lead parallel lives. And yet Joe’s passengers are animals and Sam’s are […]

The wave of the future?

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“What is it?” “It looks like a Disney princess movie!” “It sounds like a Planet Earth episode.” Well, not exactly, but not far off the mark, either. Disney and author Jennifer Donnelly (A Northern Light, Revolution) are collaborating on a multimedia fantasy project set to debut in early May. The WaterFire saga is projected to […]

Roxie’s Doors app review

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“Lift the flaps and step through doors into wonderful worlds that you can explore. Open the door to a fantasy — imagination is your key!” Welcome to Roxie’s Doors (OCG Studios and Roxie Munro, 2011), an interactive lift-the-flap search-and-find app based on author/illustrator Roxie Munro’s 2004 picture book Doors. The rhyming text (with optional narration […]

Books for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2014

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In Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls, Lia, an anorexic and cutter, learns that her estranged friend Cassie was found dead in a motel room — after leaving Lia thirty-three messages. Cassie’s death tips the already fragile Lia into a vortex of self-destruction. Anderson conveys Lia’s illness vividly through her dark, fantastic thoughts. This stream-of-consciousness, first-person, present-tense […]

Winter crafts; or, know your audience

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It’s not unusual for the Horn Book to receive submissions from adult publishers, and we recently opened a box from Lark, an imprint of Sterling Publishing (whose children’s books we do review). Lark books are crafts books – beautifully produced, sturdy how-to paperbacks about sewing, crocheting, jewelry-making, flower-arranging, etc. Pretty Quilled Cards: 25+ Creative Designs […]

“Why Did THAT Book Win?” panel recap

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Though it may have been postponed a week thanks to a winter storm last Thursday, nearly one hundred children’s literature enthusiasts still showed up last night at 6:00 pm at Simmons College for Children’s Books Boston’s second event, “Why did THAT book win?”, a panel discussion about the 2014 ALA children’s book awards. The panelists […]

LEGO DUPLO Zoo app review

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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 […]

Rule-breakers and rising stars

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Joining Rookie Yearbook Two (“HORMONES SUCK. But being a young person doesn’t always”) are two recent teen-centric anthologies, each with a different focus but both with teen appeal. Break These Rules: 35 YA Authors on Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself, edited by Luke Reynolds (Chicago Review Press, September 2013), includes short-story anecdotes from […]

All a-Twitter

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Happy Valentine’s Day! What would characters of children’s and YA lit tweet to each other to show their affection? We’ve got some ideas! See if you can guess who’s tweeting to whom — and feel free to add your own sweet kidlit tweets in the comments.   @brightestwitch: @boywholived Wish I still had my time-turner […]

Jack and the Beanstalk app review

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The latest in Nosy Crow’s fairy-tale app series, Jack and the Beanstalk (January 2013), features all of the developer’s thoughtful design hallmarks (main text and speech bubbles narrated by child actors; intuitive, no-reading-required navigation; a wide repertoire of possible interactive responses; subtle verbal and visual interactivity prompts), but this is perhaps the most activity-driven and […]