Stuff and nonsense


These new picture books put silly spins on their topics, with playful pigs, wily walruses, mischievous mice, hat-stealing creatures (not, this time, a fish) — and antic adventures for all.  In Anita Lobel’s Playful Pigs from A to Z, twenty-six pigs who are exploring the countryside find a field of “magical surprises”: brightly colored, freestanding […]

Review of Two Mice

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Two Mice by Sergio Ruzzier; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Clarion   32 pp. 9/15   978-0-544-30209-9   $12.99 Using only two-word phrases (“One house / Two mice / Three cookies”) and a simple repeating number pattern (one, two, three; three, two, one; one, two, three), this clever book (with an extra-small, preschooler-perfect trim size) creates a […]

Steam Train, Dream Train app review


Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld, of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site fame, chug along with the digital book app edition of their goodnight-train picture book Steam Train, Dream Train (Oceanhouse Media, February 2015). Just as with the Construction Site digital book app, this one includes soothing narration that can be turned on or off; you can […]

Review of Noah Webster: Man of Many Words

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Noah Webster: Man of Many Words by Catherine Reef Middle School, High School   Clarion   214 pp. 8/15   978-0-544-12983-2   $18.99   g Think of what it would be like to create the first American dictionary: selecting the words, including those used in science and math as well as those from everyday speech; determining spelling, such as favor […]

The Campaign for Shiny Futures

When Roger Sutton asked me why science fiction for teens did not get the same attention or respect as fantasy, I wanted to throw up my hands and say, “Because it’s written by the ignorant, published by the ignorant, and reviewed by the ignorant — present company included.” Here’s why. The notion that SF for […]

Review of Tender Morsels


Margo Lanagan Tender Morsels 435 pp. Knopf 10/08 isbn 978-0-375-84811-7 $16.99 g Library edition isbn 978-0-375-94811-4 $19.99 (High School) Raped repeatedly by her father and, after his death, brutally gang-raped by village youths, fifteen-year-old Liga determines to kill herself and her baby. Instead of dying, the two enter a parallel world; a place without aggression, […]

Review of The Spell Book of Listen Taylor

Jaclyn Moriarty The Spell Book of Listen Taylor 479 pp. Levine/Scholastic 9/07 isbn 978-0-439-84678-3 $16.99 g (High School) Moriarty (The Year of Secret Assignments, rev. 3/04; The Life Murder of Bindy Mackenzie, rev. 1/07) returns with another madly convoluted, over-the-top comedy-drama-mystery told from multiple points of view. Twelve-year-old Listen Taylor is too ashamed to tell […]

Review of Another Day

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Another Day by David Levithan Middle School, High School   Knopf   327 pp. 8/15   978-0-385-75620-4   $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-385-75621-1   $20.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-385-75622-8   $10.99 In Every Day (rev. 11/12), we heard from “A,” a gender-neutral sixteen-year-old character who wakes up in a different body each morning. As readers may recall, the day A inhabited Justin, […]

Editorial: Read Before You Write


A member of the child_lit listserv recently posted a query which anyone who works with children’s books will find familiar: “A former student contacted me to ask if I could give her information about how to get started in writing and publishing children’s books.” Even given this little information, the good members of the listserv […]

Horn Book Magazine – September/October 2015

September/October 2015 Horn Book Magazine

Table of Contents Features “(Very Eventually) The Zena Sutherland Lecture” by Jack Gantos The stories behind the stories, and, characteristically, some other stories. “A Thousand Winters” by Kwame Alexander Working to make order out of chaos. “The Woman Who Drew Narnia” by Vicky Smith Through the wardrobe with Pauline Baynes. Columns Editorial “Read Before You […]