Signs of springtime: construction

construction

A late addition to our “signs of springtime” list: ’tis the season for construction! This is right near our office on The Fenway, but cranes are popping up like crocuses all over Boston. Here are some recent construction books for preschool- and early primary-aged kids (particularly vehicle-obsessed ones!), recommended by The Horn Book Magazine. Jonathan […]

The Writer’s Page: In the Time of Daily Magic

eager_halfmagic_cover

I have come to believe that the books that influence us most are the ones we read at the impressionable ages of eight to twelve, the time when readers are most open to imagination and possibilities. It’s 
the time, too, when our worldview is being formed, not only by experience but also by our readings. […]

Please pass the beignets

winter_how jelly roll morton invented jazz

In our upcoming May/June issue, we review two nonfiction books starring jazz greats from the Big Easy: How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz and Trombone Shorty.    Now I’m nostalgic for NOLA, particularly its incredible live music scene! I can’t wait to get back to Frenchmen St. The annual — and beloved — New Orleans […]

Apples to Elephants: Artists in Animation

dicamillo_bink & gollie

Children’s book geekery comes in many forms. My own most recent example came while watching Disney’s The Little Mermaid with my daughter for the first time. After skipping all the scary sea-witch scenes (which incidentally makes for a remarkably short film), we were watching the credit sequence roll when suddenly I started jumping up and […]

Update: Francisco and Robert Jiménez School

jimenez_the circuit

Back in February I interviewed my mom Gretchen, who’s an instructional aide in Southern California’s Santa Maria–Bonita School District, about her campaign to name the district’s newest elementary school in honor of Dr. Francisco Jiménez. Dr. Jiménez is an author, recipient of a 1998 BGHB Award, and an alum of the area’s schools. And, as […]

Hubbub 2015

4seasonsfood

This year the Boston Book Festival* is putting on a children’s festival, Hubbub, on June 20, 2015. Billed as “Creative Commotion for Kids,” the fest includes author/illustrator events (headliner: Mo Willems!), kid music (Dan Zanes and Friends), games, puppets, hands-on science activities, stilt-walkers, and more. Yesterday I sat on a panel for the event with […]

WTF, ALA?

readstricted

The new Banned Books Week poster has too many design elements to keep straight, uses a dumb and hard to parse neologism as its main message, and dog-whistles anti-Islamic sentiment with an image of what looks like a woman in a niqab. You had ONE JOB….  

Insurgent movie review

insurgent movie poster

Not having read the Divergent series, I thought myself a great choice of reviewer for the movies — I am a clean slate, after all. And Divergent was fun. It had action, sacrifice, kickassery, feminine heroism, and Rose from Titanic. It had fighting and loving and tattoos and whooping and a very attractive, brooding male. […]

Mock book award results | 2015

2015mockwinnersH810F

My children’s lit students just met for the last time, and we spent most of our three-hour class in mock book award groups. I had been thinking about trying mock awards in this short six-week module for a few years, but this year Maleka Donaldson Gramling, the terrific course TF, thought it would be worth […]

Starred reviews, May/June 2015 Horn Book Magazine

from Float, by Daniel Miyares

The following books will receive starred reviews in the forthcoming May/June issue of The Horn Book Magazine: It’s Only Stanley; written and illustrated by Jon Agee (Dial). My Bike; written and illustrated by Byron Barton (Greenwillow) . I Yam a Donkey!; written and illustrated by Cece Bell (Clarion). Where is Pim?; by Lena Landström; illus. by Olof Landström; trans. from the […]