To sleep, perchance to dream

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A lyrical bedtime reverie; an open-only-at-night library run by a little librarian; a toddler’s pre-dawn escapades; and a kooky bedtime cruise: four new picture books help smooth the way from daytime activity to bedtime quiet. Simona Mulazzani’s lush folk art in cozy nighttime colors lends a magical, drowsy atmosphere to Giovanna Zoboli’s The Big Book […]

Freedom Summer and Black History

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This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Freedom Summer, a touchstone in the civil rights movement. The following nonfiction books highlight important turning points in African American history. And for more on Freedom Summer, read Kathleen T. Horning’s Five Questions interview with Don Mitchell (author of the new The Freedom Summer Murders, Scholastic, 14–17 years) […]

Review of Gaston

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Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio; 
illus. by Christian Robinson Preschool, Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 6/14    978-1-4424-5102-5    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5103-2    $12.99 Bumptious Gaston looms over his elegant poodle sisters Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, and Ooh-La-La; they’re “no bigger than teacups,” but he’s “the size of a teapot.” Like a good twenty-first-century parent, Mrs. Poodle praises her well-mannered […]

Books mentioned in the June 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Don Mitchell Liftoff: A Photobiography of John Glenn by Don Mitchell, National Geographic, 9–12 years. Driven: A Photobiography of Henry Ford by Don Mitchell, National Geographic, 9–12 years. Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell, Scholastic, 14–17 years. Freedom Summer and Black History Freedom Summer written by Deborah Wiles, illus. by Jerome Lagarrigue, […]

Review of The Pilot and the Little Prince

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The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sís; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Foster/Farrar    48 pp. 5/14    978-0-374-38069-4    $18.99    g On glorious blue endpapers, an airplane loops across a map of the world, its contrail made of words that seem to dissolve on the page. The pointillist […]

Review of The Miniature World of Marvin & James

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The Miniature World of Marvin & James [Masterpiece Adventures] by Elise Broach; illus. by Kelly Murphy Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    104 pp. 2/14    978-0-8050-9190-8    $15.99 e-book ed.  978-1-6277-9204-2    $9.99 A new early chapter book series follows the friendship of beetle Marvin and human boy James of Masterpiece (rev. 11/08), for a younger audience. The sentences are shorter […]

Review of Rules of Summer

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Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan; illus. by the author Primary     Levine/Scholastic     56 pp. 5/14     978-0-545-63912-5     $18.99     g “This is what I learned last summer: Never leave a red sock on the clothesline. Never eat the last olive at a party. Never drop your jar.” The narrator enumerates a […]

2014 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards for Excellence in Children’s Literature

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Today, at BookExpo America, The Horn Book’s editor in chief Roger Sutton announced the 2014 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners. Celebrating its 48th year, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards are among the most prestigious honors in the field of children’s and young adult literature. Winners and two honor books are selected in each of three […]

Nonfiction Reviews of 2014 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Winner and Honor Books

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Nonfiction Winner The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the 
Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin Middle School    Roaring Brook    190 pp. 1/14    978-1-59643-796-8    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-59643-983-2    $9.99 Sheinkin follows Bomb (rev. 11/12) with an account of another aspect of the Second World War, stemming from an incident that seems small in […]

Fiction Reviews of 2014 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Winner and Honor Books

Fiction Winner Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith High School     Dutton     390 pp. 2/14     978-0-525-42603-5     $18.99 Unfortunate coincidences involving sixteen-year-old Austin and his best friend Robby lead to the unleashing of gigantic, ravenous praying mantises related to a diabolical scientist’s decades-old experiments. Austin’s love for and attraction to both his girlfriend and […]