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Review of The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!

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The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy; illus. by Eugene Yelchin Preschool, Primary    Scholastic    32 pp. 1/17    978-0-545-72288-9    $17.99 Deedy’s original story of the noisy village of La Paz has the feel of a well-told folktale — one with plenty of dry wit. “It was hard to […]

Reviews of select titles by Patricia C. McKissack

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Flossie & the Fox by Patricia C. McKissack; illus. by Rachel Isadora Primary     Dial     32 pp. 10/86     0-8037-0251-5     $10.95 Library ed. 0-8037-0521-5     $10.89 Based on a story remembered from the author’s childhood, this tale of wit triumphant from the black tradition of the rural South — with its lilting cadence and colorful, carefully phrased dialect […]

Review of Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers

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Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman High School    Holt    451 pp. 4/17    978-0-8050-9339-1    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-2501-0969-9    $9.99 Heiligman (Charles and Emma, rev. 1/09) again examines the impact of a family member on her main subject, this time unpacking the friendship between artist Vincent […]

With a little help from their friends

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We could all use a reminder that there is kindness in the world — as well as a reminder to extend kindness to others. These new picture books for young children show how small gestures of generosity can make a big difference. A woman bakes a special batch of red heart-shaped cookies and sends them […]

For animal lovers only

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Four middle-grade novels feature animals (and one mysterious creature) that change the protagonists’ lives. From an inventive, slightly mystical environmental fable to a compelling work of historical fiction, these are all recommended for the animal lovers in your life. Me and Marvin Gardens is a smart, environmentally conscious fable with a lot of heart and […]

Love the Earth 2017

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Earth Day and the March for Science are coming up on Saturday, April 22, 2017. The following picture books introduce children to some of the challenges facing our Earth, and provide suggestions to help on a scale they can manage. For more on this topic, see Kathleen T. Isaacs’s Horn Book Magazine article “Fostering Wonder.” […]

Tales as old as time

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Retellings can offer teenagers an accessible entrée into classic literature and lore, and the best of them also connect with today’s readers through timeless themes and issues. These four new titles — including a graphic novel and one in verse — repackage centuries-old source material into books that will resonate with today’s young adults. Sara […]

Five questions for David Elliott

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“Whaddup, bitches?” says Poseidon at the start of David Elliott’s Bull (Houghton, 14 years and up) a verse-novel retelling of the Minotaur story from ancient Greek mythology that keeps readers on their toes with whip-smart dialogue, narrative double-crosses, changing poetic forms (seven main characters each has his or her own), and, of course, the stormy, […]

Books mentioned in the April 2017 issue of Notes from the Horn Book newsletter

Five questions for David Elliott Bull by David Elliott, Houghton, 14 years and up. Tales as old as time Bone Jack by Sara Crowe, Philomel, 12–16 years. Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M. T. Anderson, illus. by Andrea Offermann, Candlewick, 12–16 years. Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin, HarperCollins/Tegen, 14 years and […]

Review of City of Saints & Thieves

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City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson High School    Putnam    409 pp. 1/17    978-0-39954-758-4    $18.99    g After her mother was murdered in cold blood by Roland Greyhill, a white mining tycoon and the father of Tina’s half-sister Kiki, Tina made a run for it. She deposited Kiki at […]