Review of Wait

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Wait by Antoinette Portis; illus. by the author Preschool     Porter/Roaring Brook     32 pp. 7/15     978-1-59643-921-4     $16.99 A harried mother rushes her toddler son through the busy city streets, and he resists, stalling to look at everything they encounter. This fundamental tension plays out in a series of spreads illustrating the same refrain. She […]

Shark Week reading

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This week marks the 28th annual Shark Week on the Discovery Channel (“the most wonderful week of the year!”). Here’s an updated selection of shark-themed books — ranging from novels to legends to nonfiction and from silly to informative to poignant — recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and Guide. Any favorites we missed? Picture […]

Review of The Octopus Scientists

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The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk [Scientists in the Field] by Sy Montgomery; photos by Keith Ellenbogen Intermediate, Middle School     Houghton     71 pp. 5/15     978-0-544-232-70-9     $18.99 The French Polynesian island region of Moorea is home to the Pacific day octopus and to a research center that serves as home base […]

Review of Finding Audrey

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Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella Middle School, High School     Delacorte     287 pp. 6/15     978-0-553-53651-5     $18.99 e-book ed. 978-0-553-53652-2     $10.99 Audrey wears dark glasses all of the time, “even in the house.” But it’s not out of excessive devotion to her movie-star namesake; it’s because she’s afraid. Of everyone. We learn, incompletely, that “some […]

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

Five questions for Antoinette Portis Not a Box by Antoinette Portis, Harper, 3–6 years. Wait by Antoinette Portis, Roaring Brook/Porter, 3–6 years. Summertime… Tea Rex by Molly Idle, Viking, 3–6 years. Camp Rex by Molly Idle, Viking, 3–6 years. Sea Rex by Molly Idle, Viking, 3–6 years. Fun in the Sun by David Catrow, Holiday, 3–6 […]

Shoo, fly

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It seems that the insect-of-the-moment is… the fly (and I don’t know why; maybe butterflies were too pretty). Here are five recent books starring those pests, plus reviews of a few more favorites below. Could that Old Lady who swallowed one have been on to something?         Super Fly: The World’s Smallest Superhero! […]

Boys will be boys (what could go wrong?)

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Boys have adventures both big and small — and realistic and poignant and meta and supernatural! — in these books for intermediate and early middle-school readers. In Boy’s Best Friend by Kate Banks and Rupert Sheldrake, two sixth-grade dog owners living on Cape Cod devise an experiment based on scientist Sheldrake’s real book Dogs That […]

Summertime…

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…and the livin’ is easy. There’s no better time to dive into picture books, especially books about summer adventures. Grab a towel (and some sunscreen), pack a lunch, and soak up three new stories about memorable trips to the beach and one book about everyone’s favorite hot-weather treat. A companion to Tea Rex and Camp […]

Apps for learning and fun

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In these apps for preschool and primary users, interactivity adds an extra-engaging aspect to learning new concepts. The cute monsters from Endless Alphabet, Endless Reader, and Endless Numbers are back to teach basic Spanish vocabulary in Endless Spanish. A sight word beginning with each letter appears on the screen and is pronounced by the narrator, […]

Mysterious ways

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Full of thrills, chills, secrets, and lies, these new high-stakes mysteries for middle- and high-school readers will get hearts racing. Teen detective Scarlett is wary when nine-year-old Gemma appears at her office and tells her that she thinks her brother murdered someone. Scarlett accepts the case, and she’s soon launched into a dangerous mystery that […]