Review of Unusual Chickens for the 
Exceptional Poultry Farmer

jones_unusual chickens for the exceptional poultry farmer

Unusual Chickens for the 
Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones; illus. by Katie Kath Intermediate   Knopf   213 pp. 5/15   978-0-385-75552-8   $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-385-75553-5   $19.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-385-75554-2   $10.99 Moving to a farm inherited from her great-uncle may not be city-girl Sophie’s first choice for improving her family’s financial situation, but she’s determined to […]

Lives and times

kamkwamba_boy who harnessed the wind

The settings of these narrative nonfiction titles span decades and geography — from WWII Denmark to contemporary Malawi — but the issues they explore are incredibly timely. When heavy rains, then drought, devastated his country of Malawi and the corrupt government didn’t respond, young William Kamkwamba used his scientific ingenuity to help people in need. […]

Hoppy for Poppy

stein_tad and dad

Perfect for Father’s Day read-alouds, these picture books show a variety of dads — from those on lily pads to those in eucalyptus forests, from fantasy kingdoms to suburban parks — raising, teaching, and loving their children. In David Ezra Stein’s Tad and Dad, little frog Tad loves his father so much that he can […]

Listen, laugh, and learn

perkins_nuts to you audio

Some stories can be at their funniest — and most poignant — when read aloud. The following audiobooks, recommended for intermediate and middle-school listeners, offer lots of laughs and lots to learn. Lynne Rae Perkins’s Nuts to You tells the wacky story of a trio of industrious young squirrels saving their respective colonies from the […]

Books mentioned in the June 2015 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Ann Bausum Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum, Viking, 11–15 years. Lives and times The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, illus. by Anna Hymas, Dial, 9–12 years. March: Book Two by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illus. by Nate Powell, […]

In summer

spiegelman_lost in nyc

Anna and Kristoff. Olaf and Sven. Pablo and Alicia. The following books for young independent readers feature unlikely pairs palling around in the big city, the ‘burbs…and contemporary Norway. (Is that close to Arendelle? It is!) At the start of Nadja Spiegelman’s lively graphic-novel picture book Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure, new-kid Pablo’s class […]

Review of I Yam a Donkey!

bell_i yam a donkey

I Yam a Donkey! by Cece Bell; illus. by the author Primary   Clarion   32 pp. 6/15   978-0-544-08720-0   $16.99 “I yam a donkey,” declares a self-aware donkey on the title page. Not so fast. The grammar police arrive in the form of a bespectacled yam. “What did you say? ‘I yam a donkey?’ The proper way […]

Transformers: Reimagining the World

lo_ash

Back in my late twenties, when I decided to finally, earnestly try to be a novelist, I chose to start with something I thought would be easy: a fairy-tale retelling. I figured that since I already knew the plot, I wouldn’t get stuck. (All seasoned writers who are reading this are probably laughing.) I settled […]

Crêpes by Suzette app review

crepes map

Oh là là! App Crêpes by Suzette (May 2015), based on the picture book of the same name by Monica Wellington, features a crêpe maker — aptly named Suzette! — peddling her wares across Paris. After first stopping at an outdoor market for the day’s ingredients, she pushes her crêpe cart through town; a map […]

Review of A Chicken Followed Me Home

page_chicken followed me home

A Chicken Followed Me Home: Questions and Answers 
About a Familiar Fowl by Robin Page; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Beach Lane/Simon   32 pp. 3/15   978-1-4814-1028-1   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-1029-8   $12.99 This straightforward introduction to chickens is a lesson in book design of young informational books. Lots of white space allows the exemplar […]