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Sound Rebound app review

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“Sound Rebound is an offbeat experience of color and sound that invites you to create ricochets, bounces, or bumps to investigate seeing and hearing. Imagine yourself inside a fluid world of 2-D shapes and design. What does it look and sound like? That’s up to you,” writes the Exploratorium of its newest app release (November 2016; iOS […]

Review of Grand Canyon

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Grand Canyon by Jason Chin; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Porter/Roaring Brook    56 pp. 2/17    978-1-59643-950-4    $19.99    g Vacationing in Grand Canyon provides a father and daughter — and readers — numerous opportunities to explore this National Park’s geology and ecology. Travel guide–like narration (“After climbing out of the Inner Gorge, you’ll find yourself […]

Review of Me and Marvin Gardens

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Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King Intermediate, Middle School    Levine/Scholastic    250 pp. 2/17    978-0-545-87074-0    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-545-87077-1    $10.99 The middle-grade debut of YA novelist A.S. King (Still Life with Tornado, rev. 9/16) was bound to be a little weird — and it is. It’s also a smart, environmentally conscious underdog story […]

Creature-feature apps

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These preschool-oriented apps invite young users to explore and learn with new furry (and feathered and…googly-eyed?) friends. Little Kitten opens with a brief (and optional) wordless video introducing our hero, a gray tabby kitten. Following this intro, the kitten — now in a loving home and christened “Crumbs” — plays in the child-owner’s bedroom. In […]

Dystopian teen heroes

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These four novels envision authoritarian societies, some in the future, some not-so-futuristic, that cause their teenage protagonists to take revolutionary action. Under Little Town’s strict Regime, no one crosses the border to or from Old Country — until the Duda family arrives as refugees. Protagonist Charlie befriends teenager Pavel Duda and tries to teach him […]

Notes on Black History Month 2017

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At the 2016 Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium, author Carole Boston Weatherford said, “Some people would like to close the book of our shared history around race because it is uncomfortable and seems ‘a long time ago.’ But we need to acknowledge realities of that history — from slavery to segregation to current police brutality […]

Review of Life on Mars

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Life on Mars by Jon Agee; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Dial    32 pp. 2/17    978-0-399-53852-0    $17.99    g It’s Only Stanley (rev. 5/15) was a star-crossed (canine) love story that ended on the moon. Now Agee brings readers to the Red Planet. What would you bring along on a trip to search for life […]

Books mentioned in the February 2017 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Nikki Grimes One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes, illus. by various artists, Bloomsbury, 11 years and up. Notes on Black History Month 2017 Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan, Atheneum/Dlouhy, 8–14 years. You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen […]

Frederick Douglass booklist

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Need to refresh your knowledge of great abolitionist Frederick Douglass? Want to introduce his life and accomplishments to a young reader? Looking for Douglass to round out your Black History Month or social justice reading recommendations? The following children’s and teen books, all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and Guide at the time of […]

The King’s Ears app review

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Based on Katarina Jovanovic’s 2008 picture book The King Has Goat Ears, illustrated by Phillipe Béhà (Tradewinds Books), The King’s Ears app (Rascal Media, 2016; iOS only) adds music, movement, and interaction to this retelling of a Serbian folktale. Tap your way through the story (which you can choose to have read aloud to you, […]