Take me out to the ballgame

abbott_who's on first

Play ball! Baseball season has officially opened (go Red Sox!). Here are some of our favorite baseball-themed books from recent years, all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and Guide.   Picture Books Straight man Abbott is a tall brown bear and befuddled Costello is a short white bunny in Who’s on First?, a picture-book […]

WTF, ALA?

readstricted

The new Banned Books Week poster has too many design elements to keep straight, uses a dumb and hard to parse neologism as its main message, and dog-whistles anti-Islamic sentiment with an image of what looks like a woman in a niqab. You had ONE JOB….  

Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Kell and the Detectives

Kelldetectives

[As an experiment last fall, I invited self-publishers to submit their best new titles for review. About a dozen heeded the call, and I am reviewing their books in this space.] Kell and the Detectives; written by Darcy Pattison; illustrated by Rich Davis. Mims House, 2015. 118pp. Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-62944-028-6. $ 21.99; Paper ed. ISBN […]

May/June 2015 special issue, making the sausage

May/June 2015 Horn Book Magazine

Here’s the May/June 2015 Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Transformations all laid out. It’s a good one! Look for it in your mailbox later this month, or subscribe now.

Insurgent movie review

insurgent movie poster

Not having read the Divergent series, I thought myself a great choice of reviewer for the movies — I am a clean slate, after all. And Divergent was fun. It had action, sacrifice, kickassery, feminine heroism, and Rose from Titanic. It had fighting and loving and tattoos and whooping and a very attractive, brooding male. […]

Mock book award results | 2015

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My children’s lit students just met for the last time, and we spent most of our three-hour class in mock book award groups. I had been thinking about trying mock awards in this short six-week module for a few years, but this year Maleka Donaldson Gramling, the terrific course TF, thought it would be worth […]

Starred reviews, May/June 2015 Horn Book Magazine

from Float, by Daniel Miyares

The following books will receive starred reviews in the forthcoming May/June issue of The Horn Book Magazine: It’s Only Stanley; written and illustrated by Jon Agee (Dial). My Bike; written and illustrated by Byron Barton (Greenwillow) . I Yam a Donkey!; written and illustrated by Cece Bell (Clarion). Where is Pim?; by Lena Landström; illus. by Olof Landström; trans. from the […]

Hat Monkey app review

hat monkey menu

Let me say straight out that I don’t like monkeys. But I set my personal primate feelings aside to look at app Hat Monkey (2014), trusting in both creator Chris Haughton and developer Fox & Sheep — whose Nighty Night I liked a lot — to provide an enjoyable experience. Happily, the breakdancing, “meep-meep!”-ing Monkey soon […]

Boston-area kidlit events for April: seeing stars

jerry_pinkney sm

There are a ton of star-studded children’s lit events coming up later this month in the Boston area. Here are some highlights: Mother-and-daughter team Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple will read and sign their new picture book You Nest Here with Me at The Blue Bunny in Dedham on Saturday, April 11th, at […]

What ELSE do you do?: five questions for T. A. Barron

Author photo 2014 for Horn Book

Author T. A. Barron instituted the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes in 2000. Named for the author’s mother, the Prize is given annually to fifteen young people “who have made a significant positive difference to people and/or our environment.” Each winner receives $5,000 toward his or her work or higher education. Barron’s latest fantasy […]