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Review of Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs

park_yaks yak

Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs by Linda Sue Park; 
illus. by Jennifer Black Reinhardt Primary    Clarion    40 pp. 3/16    978-0-544-39101-7    $16.99 Park and Reinhardt pair animal names with actions in this picture book in which yaks yak, apes ape, parrots parrot, and finally kids kid. Each double-page spread features a single phrase such as “Flounders […]

Farm2Table app review

cow in patrick's kitchen title

Low-frills app Farm2Table (Little Pickle Press, January 2016) — based on the 2013 picture book The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen by Diana Prichard, illustrated by Heather Devlin Knopf — gives young children a basic idea of where some of their food comes from. One morning young Patrick O’Shanahan goes downstairs for breakfast and finds a […]

Beverly Cleary and the Art of Growing Up

cleary_ramona the brave

Like my own home street, I took Klickitat Street for granted until I had been gone for a long time and returned. I recently re-read the Ramona series and realized how many scenes had wormed their way into my memory and become indistinguishable from my own experiences. The paper-bag owl, Grandma Quimby’s proverbs, the dawnzer, […]

Review of Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph

orgill_jazz day

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgill; 
illus. by Francis Vallejo Intermediate    Candlewick    54 pp. 3/16    978-0-7636-6954-6    $18.99    g On August 12, 1958, fifty-plus jazz musicians, famous and emerging, gathered together in front of a brownstone in Harlem for a group photo shoot. The resulting photograph has become iconic, a single […]

Review of A Dragon’s Guide to Making 
Your Human Smarter

yep_dragon's guide to making your human smarter

A Dragon’s Guide to Making 
Your Human Smarter by Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder; 
illus. by Mary GrandPré Intermediate    Crown    296 pp. 3/16    978-0-385-39232-7    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-39233-4    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-39234-1    $10.99 Newly admitted to Spriggs Academy, Winnie Burton has more to contend with than the usual new-girl jitters. Winnie’s dragon-caretaker, Miss Drake, […]

Reviews of Bye-Bye Binky and I Use the Potty

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Bye-Bye Binky [Big Kid Power] by Maria van Lieshout; 
illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    24 pp. 3/16    978-1-4521-3536-6    9.99 I Use the Potty [Big Kid Power] by Maria van Lieshout; 
illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    24 pp. 3/16    978-1-4521-3535-9    $9.99 In the Leslie Patricelli preschool-book mold (Potty, rev. 1/11, and many others), these […]

Math Tales: The Jungle app review

jungle title

Marshmallow Games‘s Math Tales: The Jungle app (March 2016) opens with upbeat, Caribbean-style music and happy jungle animals poking their heads out of greenery to greet the player. Once the pulsing, yellow “play” button is pressed, the player is brought to the first page of a story: “On a sunny day, the king of the […]

Telling the Truth While Making Things Up

scott_ramonabehindscenes

I met Beverly Cleary in 1980, when I was a barely published author and she was already an icon of children’s literature. As a new initiate into the writers’ group that was sponsoring a weekend writers’ conference, I was assigned the task of meeting Beverly’s plane. I remember being amazed at my good fortune, but […]

Radioactive!: How Irène Curie & Lise Meitner 
Revolutionized Science and 
Changed the World

women's hist_conkling_radioactive

Radioactive!: How Irène Curie & Lise Meitner 
Revolutionized Science and 
Changed the World by Winifred Conkling Middle School, High School   Algonquin   227 pp. 1/16   978-1-61620-415-0   $17.95 e-book ed. 978-1-61620-555-3   $17.95 While there have been plenty of biographies of Marie Curie for teens, little has been published for this audience about her daughter, Irène. Conkling’s biography […]

From the Guide: Narrative Nonfiction

collier_choosing courage

The trending genre of narrative nonfiction is one we have followed closely — see for example our August 2015 What Makes Good Narrative Nonfiction e-newsletter and Marc Aronson’s Writer’s Page article “What Is Narrative Nonfiction?” The Horn Book Guide’s wide-lens view on children’s publishing makes narrative nonfiction’s current popularity and usefulness abundantly clear. All recommended […]