Choosing Books

Promoting good books for children and young adults is the heart of The Horn Book’s editorial mission.

Review of Galápagos George

george_ galápagos george

Galápagos George by Jean Craighead George; 
illus. by Wendell Minor Primary    Harper/HarperCollins    40 pp. 4/14    978-0-06-028793-1    $15.99    g Jean Craighead George begins the evolutionary story of the tortoises on Galápagos archipelago with a single female, Giantess George, and asks readers to extrapolate from the life cycle of that one animal to the development of the […]

Recommended reading for Earth Day

Island by Jason Chin

The books recommended below were reviewed by The Horn Book Magazine. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. Picture books Suggested grade level listed with each entry The Promise written by Nicola Davies, illus. by Laura Carlin (Candlewick) A girl, “mean and hard” as the city she lives in, survives […]

Review of Queen Victoria’s 
Bathing Machine

whelan_queen victoria's bathing machine

Queen Victoria’s 
Bathing Machine by Gloria Whelan; 
illus. by Nancy Carpenter Primary    Wiseman/Simon    40 pp. 4/14    978-1-4169-2753-2    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5885-7    $12.99 How could Queen Victoria get into the sea on a hot day? Modesty decreed that she mustn’t be seen in her bathing costume. It’s Prince Albert to the rescue with a queen-sized […]

A tisket, a tasket, books for Easter baskets

Little White Rabbit

Spring hasn’t fully sprung quite yet in Boston — we got snow overnight earlier this week! But with Easter this weekend, we know it’s coming (eventually). Here are four springy board books to tuck into a little one’s Easter basket. The titular bunny of Kevin Henkes’s Little White Rabbit has limitless curiosity and imagination to […]

Endless Reader app review

endless reader menu

From Originator (formerly Callaway Digital Arts), developer of the fantastic Endless Alphabet, comes Endless Reader (November 2013). Endless Reader closely follows the format and style of the previous app. A narrator speaks a sight word — such as all, eat, on, up, or you — as it appears in lowercase letters on the screen. A […]

Review of Here Comes the Easter Cat

underwood_here comes the easter cat

Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood; 
illus. by Claudia Rueda Preschool    Dial    80 pp. 1/14    978-0-8037-3939-0    $16.99    g Cat discovers an advertisement for the Easter Bunny’s arrival on the front endpapers of this witty offering, and from the very first page he is unhappy about it. The text addresses Cat directly throughout the […]

Review of Feral Curse

smith_feral curse

Feral Curse [Feral] by Cynthia Leitich Smith High School    Candlewick    259 pp. 2/14    978-0-7636-5910-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-7636-7040-5    $17.99 Secret werecat Kayla chooses Valentine’s Day to reveal her true nature to her boyfriend, Ben. He reacts badly, to put it mildly: he runs away from Kayla, is hit by lightning on the antique carousel in […]

Review of He Has Shot the President!

brown_he has shot the president

He Has Shot the President!: April 14, 1865: The Day John 
Wilkes Booth Killed President 
Lincoln [Actual Times] by Don Brown; illus. by the author Intermediate    Roaring Brook    64 pp. 4/14    978-1-59643-224-6    $17.99    g This fifth entry in Brown’s Actual Times series (including All Stations Distress, rev. 9/08) begins on April 14, 1865, the day […]

Dayenu!

adler_passover

Pour the wine (or grape juice) and chop the nuts and apples. Here are some new books for Passover. (And here are two more.)   Preschool Two Shalom Sesame series entries, written by Tilda Balsley and Ellen Fischer and illustrated by Tom Leigh, follow Sesame Street characters in Israel as they learn about doing good […]

Life during wartime

boyne_stay where you are and then leave

War wreaks havoc on civilians, soldiers, and those they leave behind. Nevertheless, the following four works of historical fiction epitomize the WWII Britain motto: “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Four years ago, Alfie Summerfield’s dad, Georgie, signed up to fight in WWI. For a while, letters came regularly; then they stopped altogether. Eventually Alfie learns […]