DinoWriMo on NaNoWriMo


“Gee, writing a whole novel in a month is a lot of work. I need a stegonographer. It’s so hard to come up with a di-plot-ocus so quickly, with a structure and a dinoument and everything. I bet the Brontësaurus sisters didn’t work like this.” For more terrible puns, click the tag DinoWriMo.



“It’s National Novel Writing Month!” “It’s Dinovember!” Stop! You’re both right! #DinoWriMo More to come from The Horn Book @HornBook (Spoiler alert: there will be puns. Terrible ones.) For more terrible puns, click the tag DinoWriMo.

The Night World

night world

There’s a lot to like about The Night World, from Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein. Unlike your esteemed leaders here at Calling Caldecott, I’ve never been on the Caldecott committee, but if I were, this book would be in my serious-consideration stack. Let’s start with the dust jacket. It welcomes readers with a window, as a […]

Happy (almost) Halloween from The Horn BOooOOooOOk

roger with masquerade mask

Tomorrow’s Halloween, which means it’s time for a few of our favorite bookish Halloween traditions! Namely… All Hallow’s Read This tradition — started by author Neil Gaiman waaaaayyy back in the olden days of 2010 — simply consists of giving scary books in the week leading up to Halloween. (Instead of candy?!, you ask. No, […]

Meet the Dullards

pennypacker_meet the dullards

Today we’re considering Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri. If you haven’t had a look at this book yet, do yourself a favor and go find it. It’s far from dull. As you can see from the cover, there’s something going on here between the text and the art similar to […]

Picture book moments


In picture-book goings-on, bloggers Julie Danielson, Betsy Bird, Travis Jonker, and Minh Lê have a seasonally appropriate discussion about creepy picture books. (And here are the Horn Book’s recommendations for Halloween reading.) –and the New York Times Best Illustrated list is out and includes A Fine Dessert, so don’t look for that discussion to die down […]

The Boy Meets Girl Massacre (Annotated)

hogarth_boy meets girl massacre annotated

I was initially drawn to Ainslie Hogarth’s The Boy Meets Girl Massacre (Annotated) because it’s almost Halloween, and I was in the mood for something spooky or unsettling. I was also intrigued by the nonlinear format. This gross-out YA paperback original did turn out to be unsettling…but not quite in the way I had hoped. […]

Toca Boo app review

toca boo candle

Just in time for Halloween, little ones can play Toca Boo (Toca Boca, 2014), a virtual version of that thing where you sneak up on someone and yell “Boo!” A little red-spectacled girl pulls a sheet over her head and floats around her dark-and-shadowy house looking for victims; readers use their finger to lead her […]

Is the Internet killing reading?

Call Me Ishmael

Well, IMHO, no… One of the questions I am asked most often in classes and in trainings with teachers is about the Internet’s impact on students’ reading. It usually goes something like this… “Do you think the internet is killing reading?” I usually wonder silently if using the word “killing” means the asker has already […]

Cuckoo’s song


I discovered the podcast “Lore” yesterday, and I’m already eleven episodes in. Created by supernatural thriller author Aaron Mahnke, “Lore” tells real-life stories behind or informed by scary folklore, urban legends, and other creepy tales. Thus far, it’s covered the requisite vampires (this particular case taking place in colonial Massachusetts), werewolves (in medieval Germany), and […]