Wake me up when it’s all over


I confess to feeling nonplussed when the publicist wrote to see if “Horn [ed note: AARGH] will review The Rabbit Who Wants to Go to Sleep,” the self-published bestseller that Random House picked up for a rumored seven-figure advance. I mean, yes, the Horn BOOK will review it in the Spring 2016 Horn Book Guide […]

Boats for Papa

boats for papa

This is one gorgeous picture book. It’s perhaps even more remarkable, given that it’s by a debut artist. Since its publication last June, it has gotten lots of love. And even more love. Most reviews refer to the way the story tugs at the heartstrings: “A weeper.” “Heart-breaking.” I have to say that the message I took away […]



Is that Peter (of Ezra Jack Keats fame) on the cover of Daniel Miyares’s Float? Might be. There is something inviting about the cover of this gentle wordless book, isn’t there? Slip off the jacket and be wowed by the case cover — a newspaper boat floating off to the right and into the sun. The […]

This monstrous book launch

mackenzi lee signing

Having never been to any book launch parties before, I can say with 100% certainty that last week’s launch party for This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee (my friend and Simmons ChLit grad program classmate) was unquestionably the best I’ve ever experienced. There was kinderpunsch, a coloring contest, Mackenzi’s NPR-approved cookies, a steampunk photo booth, […]

The Everything Machine app review

everything machine title screen

Much like in their Human Body app, Tinybop’s The Everything Machine (2015) provides an opportunity for experimental play and experiential learning. Here users set up virtual circuits between electrical components to accomplish tasks such as power a (digital) light bulb, play sound, or take a picture. The app makes the most of the device’s utilities […]

The schools that need libraries the most


A few months ago, fellow Lolly’s Classroom blogger Randy Ribay made a compelling argument about why schools still need libraries and the wonderful librarians who keep them running smoothly. I agree wholeheartedly with his conclusion that “a school without a library is like a body without a soul.” Further, I believe that lack of access […]

Beyond the Pluto Problem


Perusing Debbie’s Reese’s  provocative (to me, anyway!) and useful site American Indians in Children’s Literature, I came across a comment she made referencing and linking to the Texas State Library’s guide to weeding, CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries (link goes to a pdf). Last revised in 2012 by my most respected colleague and […]

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

sarcone-roach_bear ate your sandwich

I wasn’t aware of Julia Sarcone-Roach until we reviewed  Subway Story back in 2010. What strikes most immediately about her art is the light. She achieves a luminous quality using opaque paint on paper that many watercolor artists would surely envy. According to the small print, she is using acrylics — a medium that can […]

Kidlit cares some more


Recently, as Siân tore her eyes away from Patrick Ness’s Twitter feed to tell us, a whole bunch of people, many of them children’s and YA authors, got together and raised a skyrocketing sum for Save the Children to aid Syrian refugees. Astounding as this example was, it’s not the only case of the kidlit […]

Middle-Grade Madness recapped

Rebecca Stead and me.

Shoshana has written up an excellent recap of last night’s goings-on at the Cambridge Public Library. I’ll just add my thanks to the panelists, who were all engaged, enthusiastic, and nice to me and each other. (Jeanne Birdsall brought along a belt for me to use if things got out of hand, but luckily I […]