Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: The Strength of Wild Horses

WildHorses

[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.]   The Strength of Wild Horses; by Sandra Tayler; illus. by Angela Call. Tayler Corporation, 2014. 32.pp. ISBN 978-0-9835746-8. 12.95. Amy, who resembles Pippi […]

About time

perrin_at the same moment, around the world

Concepts of time and time zones can be difficult to explain even without lost-hour fuzziness! Happily, the picture books and easy readers below (all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide) painlessly introduce these ideas to children in engaging ways. Preschool Durga Bernhard’s While You Are Sleeping: A Lift-the-Flap Book of […]

I’ll show you WINTER.

minnie2,jpg

Seasonally enough, last night I attended Blizzard of Voices, an oratorio by Paul Moravec (husband to your friend and mine Wendy Lamb). While you might have thought the warm and woody Jordan Hall would have been an oasis in Boston’s horrible weather, Moravec’s commemoration of the 1888 Schoolhouse Blizzard was terrible–in the exactest sense–in its evocation of […]

Chapter books | Class #3, 2015

julian_joey_omakayas

This week we are reading three chapter books — The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos, and The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. Each is the first book in a series and each has a strong central character, an element that I think is essential in early […]

The Stories Julian Tells | Class #3, 2015

The Stories Julian Tells

The Stories Julian Tells is the first book in an ongoing series about brothers Julian and Hughie, and their neighbor Gloria. This is an early chapter book for readers who have acquired some fluency but aren’t ready to tackle longer books yet. The chapters are fairly short, there’s lots of conversation, the plot is easy […]

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key | Class #3, 2015

joey pigza

The Joey Pigza books are hugely popular with upper elementary kids. Joey Pigza is the first of the series and while it’s not spelled out, I think it’s pretty obvious that Joey has ADHD. I like sharing this book with teachers because they tend to look at the situations described in the book completely differently […]

The Birchbark House | Class #3, 2015

The Birchbark House

Louise Erdrich’s historical novel The Birchbark House is the first in a series, each book following a child from a different generation in an Ojibwa community. Often, books for children contain a central character who is about the same age as the book’s readers. The Birchbark House would be a tough read for most children […]

Two articles about chapter books | Class #3, 2015

jackgantos

This week in addition to our three chapter books, we are reading two articles. The first is Robin Smith’s piece about her road to becoming a second grade teacher who loves LOVES books, and how she shares them with her classes: “Teaching New Readers to Love Books” from the September/October 2003 Horn Book Magazine. The […]

Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Drawbridges Open and Close

Drawbridges

[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.] Drawbridges Open and Close; by Patrick T. McBriarty; illus. by Johanna H. Kim. Curly Press, 2014. 40pp. ISBN 978-1-941216-02-6. $15.95 Gr. K-3. I was glad […]

Fiona & the Fog e-book review

fiona and the fog menu

“One foggy morning, Fiona sat on her front stoop, wondering what to do with the day. ‘I’m bored. I wish something exciting would happen…’” With that, the fog snatches up Fiona’s scarf and leads her on a chase around a city’s environs (it’s unnamed but the skyline is San Francisco’s; makes sense given the fog). […]