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2016 in review

2017-sparkler

Happy New Year! We hope your year is full of great reads and good friends. Before we ring in 2017, though, let’s take a look back at 2016 — we had a very busy year! BGHB 2016 coverage Fanfare 2016 ALA 2016 coverage Remembering children’s lit Great Ladies Lois Duncan, Anna Dewdney, and Natalie Babbitt; […]

Excellent Ed

excellent-ed

In Excellent Ed, a dog longs for confirmation that he is special and important to his family. Each of the Ellis children are gifted at one thing or another, and Ed wants to know what he contributes to the group. He knows he is good at “forgetting stuff” and “losing stuff,” but is that enough […]

Flora and the Peacocks

idle_flora and the peacocks

Oh, how I love Flora and the Flamingo, the first Flora book by Molly Idle, published in 2013. Those amazing flaps, like nothing we’d seen; the gracefulness of the illustrations, with infusions of humor; the lyricism of the story, without using any words. I was thrilled when it won a Caldecott Honor (and as we learned […]

Take the A train

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My twenty-month-old grandson is currently so enamored with the New York subway system that every activity (including eating, waking from a nap, and interacting with family members) becomes an imaginary trip on the A train. But you don’t have to be a New Yorker or even, as Eloise puts it, “a city child” to enjoy […]

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

goodbye-summer

As I write this, we’re having the first snow of the season in Chicago. My kids could not wait to go outside. They ran back and forth, trying to catch snowflakes on their tongue. They asked when they would be able to have a snowball fight and when we could go sledding. Like most adults […]

Color me confused: more adult(ish?) coloring books

get-your-own-coloring-book

We’ve talked here before about the adult coloring craze (and its frequent connections to children’s literature, from Harry Potter coloring events to a coloring book inspired by The Little Prince. It seems this craze won’t be over any time soon, as these “grownup” coloring books just keep coming. In the name of research, I recently spent some time with four new […]

Happy holidays from The Horn Book!

lunch

I dusted off the old party-planning hat for The Horn Book’s holiday celebration last week — the first outing since my return to the HB in October. This year’s outing was a hybrid lunch/field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts. There was delicious food (and wine!) at the MFA’s snazzy restaurant Bravo, good conversation, […]

Henry & Leo

Henry & Leo

Those of us who look at lots and lots of new children’s books see a lot of familiar plots and art styles that resemble one classic or another in some way. Whenever I see a book that is fresh and unlike anything I’ve seen before, I celebrate. That’s all very well, but I need to remember […]

Fallen London app review

fallen-london-title

“Thirty years ago, London was stolen by bats. Now, Hell is close and immortality is cheap, but the screaming has largely stopped…” In Fallen London (Failbetter Games, 2015; iOS and Android), I — a shadowy being of unspecified gender, just escaped from prison — stalk the streets of a Hell-adjacent Victorian London with an Alluring Companion for a cohort […]

On “On the Rights of Reading and Girls and Boys” (from March 2012)

garth-williams-little-house

“Laura and Mary may be the heroines, but if you want to stick to stereotypes, has anyone noticed how much of this book is about the technical construction of homes and barns and icehouses or how many pages are devoted to guns and hunting and defending oneself?” Hilary Rappaport writes passionately about not limiting kids’ […]