The mouse that roared

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The Little Mouse Santi, with a story by David Eugene Ray and illustrations by Santiago Germano, is a classic-feeling picture book for young readers. In it, the main character, a mouse named Santi, wants to be a cat. He studies the farm cats and copies their activities and attitudes until he has the whole cat […]

The value of the graphic novel

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This year, I’ve really pushed my students to embrace graphic novels. It’s helped my low readers to access the same information as their peers, and although some students read it because it’s “easier,” they’re reading. What I find myself conflicted with now is that my school is part of the Accelerated Reader (AR) program, where […]

While the cat’s away…

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With our “grownup” coworkers variously attending conferences, working from home, or out sick (get better soon, Lolly!), Siân, Shoshana, Katrina, intern Willa, and I are having a Millennials’ Day in the Office. There might be some Taylor Swift happening. A (short-lived) book fort definitely happened: (Shoshana is a good sport.)

Make some noise: Hubbub Festival’s Creative Commotion for Kids

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Hubbub is a brand-new child-centric creativity festival produced by Boston Book Fest. The festival’s mission statement: Our goal is to inspire and encourage creativity with a combination of world-class authors and artistic acts, as well as hands-on activities and experiences where kids will experiment, design, and create. We believe that curiosity, excitement, wonder, and play […]

7(.5) Totally Useless Questions for David Hyde Costello

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After working the Horn Book booth at Saturday’s Hubbub Festival, I met up with David Hyde Costello, author/illustrator of Here They Come, I Can Help, and Little Pig Joins the Band before his scheduled event: a reading of his most recent illustrated work, A Crow of His Own (written by Megan Dowd Lambert). I could […]

Harry’s Healthy Garden app review

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Learn to plant a garden — and reap the delicious, healthy rewards — in Harry’s Healthy Garden (Baby First with content provided by the American Heart Association, June 2015). Peppy Harry the Bunny welcomes children to select a garden bed (there are twelve, six per screen) then choose their first crop: garden beans, parsley, tomatoes, […]

Why schools still need libraries (and librarians)

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I felt like a scavenger. There I was, in a prestigious private school’s library, picking through books they were getting rid of in order to make space for a new tech area. The staff was extremely kind, but I still resented what their students had and mine didn’t. As I’ve explained in previous posts, the […]

Reading for Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

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The Islamic month of Ramadan, a solemn holiday of fasting from sunrise to sunset, charity, and additional prayer, begins today. Ramadan ends with the joyous feasting of the Eid al-Fitr celebration. These books for young readers — all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and Guide — can be a part of a child’s holiday […]

CBB Trivia Night (or, It’s not dorky. It’s cool. Shut up.)

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The Horn Book is steeped in tradition. Since 1924, we’ve reviewed and discussed the finest in children’s literature. And since 2014, we’ve brought home the win at Children’s Books Boston’s Wicked Boston Children’s Book Trivia Challenge. This was the second year that Boston’s librarians, booksellers, editors, students, and other children’s lit nerds piled into M. […]

A sense of place

Maine picture books

“Doesn’t this book make you think of Rockport, of being down at the beach and feeling the waves?” one of my students asks me, holding up our classroom’s copy of Andre by Fran Hodgkins. “It does remind me of that,” I tell my student. “Why don’t you read what is says on the seal’s collar […]