Review of Skies like These

hilmo_skies like these

Skies like These by Tess Hilmo Intermediate    Ferguson/Farrar    233 pp. 7/14    978-0-374-36998-9    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-374-36999-6    $9.99 Adventurous is the last word twelve-year-old Jade would use to describe herself — prudent would be closer to the mark — but that’s about to change. Though she’s always enjoyed her uneventful summers at home in Philadelphia, […]

Review of The Midnight Library

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The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara; illus. by the author Preschool    Roaring Brook    32 pp. 6/14    978-1-59643-985-6    $16.99 Welcome to the Midnight Library, where a little-girl librarian and her three owl assistants provide a friendly spot for animals from “all over the town” to “find a perfect book.” Outside the windows, stars twinkle in a […]

The Animal Book e-book review

animal book

Steve Jenkins’s 2014 Boston Globe-Horn Book Nonfiction Honor Book The Animal Book: A Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest — and Most Surprising — Animals on Earth is available in an enhanced e-book edition (HMH, 2013). An introduction describes the book’s features: Animal Fact Pop-Up Boxes provide more information about select creatures’ sizes, […]

From the Guide: Cultural Diversity in Middle-Grade Fiction

agosin_i lived on butterfly hill

Children’s books that acknowledge, respect, and celebrate young people from a wide variety of racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds are still too few and far between. These Horn Book Guide–recommended novels from 2013 and 2014 are fine examples of books that do. And for a full day of thoughtful, in-depth discussion about diversity of all […]

Review of Hi, Koo!

muth_hi, koo

Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons by Jon J Muth; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Scholastic    32 pp. 3/14    978-0-545-16668-3    $17.99 Twenty-six haiku are presented by young panda Koo, whom fans of Muth’s Zen Ties will recognize as the haiku-spouting nephew of Stillwater, the Zen Buddhist panda from Zen Shorts and Zen Ghosts. Here, […]

Newbery 2014: The Year in Words

diCamillo_Flora

“You’ve got winner written all over you,” says the Whack-a-Duck man in Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee’s Bink & Gollie: Two For One, winner of the 2014 Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video. “How I love it when little ladies win large donuts.” Kate DiCamillo is having a very good year. On January […]

Review of The Great Greene Heist

johnson_great green heist

The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson Middle School    Levine/Scholastic    236 pp. 5/14    978-0-545-52552-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-52554-1    $16.99 Who knew a student council election could get so complicated? After pulling off a few legendary middle-school pranks, Jackson Greene has sworn off his scheming ways. But he gets pulled back in, in order to help […]

Review of Emily’s Blue Period

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Emily’s Blue Period by Cathleen Daly; illus. by Lisa Brown Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    56 pp. 6/14    978-1-59643-469-1    $17.99 Young Emily is an artist — a fact thoroughly established, visually, from title page on. She draws and she paints; she pores over art books. In school, she is learning about Pablo Picasso, and his work and […]

Caldecott 2014: The Year in Pictures

locomotive

Welcome to Las Vegas! City of lights, city of sin; of excess, exploitation, and glitter. It may be an unlikely spot for a library conference, but its unofficial slogan makes it an apt one: what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. I’m referring here not to mayhem and debauchery (although…feel free) but to the famed […]

Using picture books to teach satire

The Stinky Cheese Man

It is important to expose children to a variety of genres of literature at young age and to do our best to explain the conventions of that genre in developmentally appropriate ways. One of the genres of literature that might not get as much emphasis in standardized tests but is important to be able to […]