Transformers: The Power of Storytelling

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I grew up in a small brick row house on a dead-end street in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In many ways, my neighborhood block in the 1940s was representative of African American culture as a whole: there were too many things we were told we could not do, too many places we might […]

Harry’s Healthy Garden app review

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Learn to plant a garden — and reap the delicious, healthy rewards — in Harry’s Healthy Garden (Baby First with content provided by the American Heart Association, June 2015). Peppy Harry the Bunny welcomes children to select a garden bed (there are twelve, six per screen) then choose their first crop: garden beans, parsley, tomatoes, […]

Reading for Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

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The Islamic month of Ramadan, a solemn holiday of fasting from sunrise to sunset, charity, and additional prayer, begins today. Ramadan ends with the joyous feasting of the Eid al-Fitr celebration. These books for young readers — all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and Guide — can be a part of a child’s holiday […]

Review of The Case for Loving

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The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko; illus. by 
Sean Qualls and Selina Alko Primary   Levine/Scholastic   32 pp. 1/15   978-0-545-47853-3   $18.99 The 1967 Supreme Court case that legalized interracial marriage throughout the country is here given a picture-book accounting. Richard Loving was white, Mildred Jeter’s skin was a “creamy caramel”; […]

Review of Nimona

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Nimona by Noelle Stevenson; illus. by the author Middle School, High School   HarperTeen   266 pp. 5/15   978-0-06-227823-4   $17.99 Paper ed. 978-0-06-227822-7   $12.99 Ballister Blackheart — ex-knight and current 
supervillain — is focused on the destruction of the Institute of Law Enforcement and Heroics. He also wouldn’t mind getting even with Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, a knight-school […]

Review of Tad and Dad

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Tad and Dad by David Ezra Stein; 
illus. by the author Preschool   Paulsen/Penguin   40 pp. 4/15   978-0-399-25671-4   $16.99   g Poor Dad. Poor Tad. Neither frog is getting any sleep in his (lily)pad. Tad loves his dad so much that he can hardly bear to be away from him, even at night. Whether Tad is a […]

Transformers: Ready or Not…

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Translating Madame Villeneuve’s and Madame Leprince de Beaumont’s eighteenth-century French into contemporary American 
English for our picture book Beauty and the Beast was indeed a transformative event. In addition to the dramatic change in language, there were other differences, surprises brought on by time and the filter of many others before me. The process taught […]

Endless Spanish app review

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The cute monsters from Originator‘s Endless Alphabet, Endless Reader, and Endless Numbers are back…en español! Endless Spanish (May 2015) follows much the same format as Endless Reader to teach basic Spanish vocabulary. There are two modes, “Spanish immersion” or “Spanish with English translation.” Begin at A and work through the alphabet to Z, or start […]

From the Guide: Board Book Transformations

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In his article “Hijacking the Pumpkin Coach” (beginning on page 14), Gregory Maguire starts with a contemplation on the meaning of the word transformations, as well as some useful near-synonyms, among them “shape-changers” and “old wine in new skins.” In keeping with this theme, here are some recent Horn Book Guide–recommended examples of popular or […]

Review of Untamed

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Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey Intermediate, Middle School   National Geographic   
96 pp. 6/15   978-1-4263-1518-3   $18.99 Library ed. 978-1-4263-1519-0   $28.90   g Jane Goodall has spent a lifetime dedicated to understanding and protecting chimpanzees. This accessible account of her life (with a foreword by Goodall herself) emphasizes the qualities that will likely […]