Little House in the Big ‘Burbs

Rose_wilder_house

Little House fans, get your mortgage pre-approvals ready. The home of Rose Wilder Lane (Laura’s daughter, as if I had to tell you!), in my hometown of Danbury, CT, is on the market. Four BR, 3.5 bath, 3505 sq. ft, 2.03 acres: asking a very reasonable $439K. Charles Ives lived in Danbury. And Marian Anderson. […]

TK

facepainting

Upcoming: We’ve just put the July/August Horn Book Magazine to bed (with very firm orders to stay there until June 29th). At 176 pages, it is quite the fattest ALA Awards issue we’ve published but it’s what’s on those pages that has me so excited. Because so much of the content is embargoed until after […]

Endless Spanish app review

endless spanish cover

The cute monsters from Originator‘s Endless Alphabet, Endless Reader, and Endless Numbers are back…en español! Endless Spanish (May 2015) follows much the same format as Endless Reader to teach basic Spanish vocabulary. There are two modes, “Spanish immersion” or “Spanish with English translation.” Begin at A and work through the alphabet to Z, or start […]

Teaching and reading in a YA movie world

The Giver movie poster

The first time I read The Giver, I was astounded. I got to the last page, sat for a moment in wonder, and then flipped back to page 1 to begin again, in the hopes I could hold that moment for just a little longer. The images that the book conjured for me were permanent, even today, many years and reads later.

Cover boys, Hollywood edition

JGL young

I seem to have entered a time warp in which the pre-teen/teen versions of ridiculously attractive males have come forward in time to model for intermediate book covers. Here’s itty-bitty Zac Efron in Firefly and his lookalike on the cover of D. S. Thornton’s Scrap City (October, 2015):   And here’s a young Joseph Gordon […]

Picture books under the sea

Life in the Ocean

With water covering around 70% of the world’s surface and playing home to some of the most fascinating creatures on earth, it is not surprising that it is a perennially popular topic for young children. And, this ongoing popularity means that there are plenty of books available on this topic to encourage students to pursue […]

Starred reviews, July/August Horn Book Magazine

PigsLobel

The following books are receiving starred reviews in the July/August issue of The Horn Book Magazine: The Skunk; by Mac Barnett; illus. by Patrick McDonnell (Roaring Brook) Playful Pigs from A to Z; written and illus. by Anita Lobel (Knopf) Wait; written and illus. by Antoinette Portis (Porter/Roaring Brook) Binny in Secret; by Hilary McKay; illus. by Micah Player (McElderry) Lost in NYC: […]

What retellings tell

carter_bloody chamber

On Monday night I went to Harvard Book Store to hear author/editor/anthologist/publisher Kelly Link speak about Angela Carter’s 1979 short story collection The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories. In May, Penguin Classics rereleased the collection in a 75th anniversary edition (the 75th anniversary of Carter’s birth, that is, not of the book’s original publication) with […]

We need (more) diverse authors

#WNMDB

In the Age of Testing, it seems creativity is often left by the wayside. Professional development for teachers these days focuses on practices that supposedly raise test scores. Practice questions. Test-prep software. Data analysis. Incentives. To make room for these practices, it seems that many high schools no longer teach creative writing. We teach reading […]

Crêpes by Suzette app review

crepes map

Oh là là! App Crêpes by Suzette (May 2015), based on the picture book of the same name by Monica Wellington, features a crêpe maker — aptly named Suzette! — peddling her wares across Paris. After first stopping at an outdoor market for the day’s ingredients, she pushes her crêpe cart through town; a map […]