Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Mary-Ellen O’Keefe’s Word-Speaking Diet

Neely

[As an experiment last fall, I invited self-publishers to submit their best new titles for review. About a dozen heeded the call, and I am reviewing their books in this space.] Mary-Ellen O’Keefe’s Word-Speaking Diet; written by Tom Neely; illustrated by Sharad Kumar. Tom Neely, 2014. 36pp. ISBN 978-1502-44425-7. Paper ed. $9.97. Mary-Ellen has always been a […]

Field Notes: “This Is Too Much!” Why Verse Novels Work for Reluctant Readers

raybuck_heartbeat

Novels in verse have earned their place in the mainstream of children’s and young adult literature — Exhibit A: Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover winning the Newbery Medal — and this is good news for reluctant readers, especially reluctant middle-grade and middle-school readers. Compared to a conventional novel, a novel in verse has perhaps half the […]

Mock book awards | Class #5, 2015

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This year, most of our last class meeting in Children’s Lit will be devoted to mock book awards. Each student selected a committee to join (Caldecott for picture books, Geisel for easy readers, or Sibert for information books) and chose one or two eligible books published in 2014 to nominate and present to his or […]

Folklore and poetry | Class #5, 2015

Folklore and poetry

For our class on April 2, we are reading four books and one article. I like combining these two genres because both need to be read aloud in order to really appreciate them. Folklore has to have a strong voice, as it comes from an oral tradition where storytellers have individual styles, just as today’s […]

Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Bandits Peak

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[As an experiment last fall, I invited self-publishers to submit their best new titles for review. About a dozen heeded the call, and I am reviewing their books in this space.] Bandits Peak; by Chris Eboch. Pig River Press, 2015. 173pp. ISBN 0-978-0692346006. Paper ed. $9.99 Jesse is out for a wander in the wilderness he loves […]

National Puppy Day reading

puppy with book

Yesterday was National Puppy Day! To celebrate, here are some of our favorite dog books from recent years (don’t worry; I’m pretty sure the dog doesn’t die in any of them!), all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine. Now, who wants to lend me a puppy to snuggle while I read? Picture books A boy […]

A Lovely Night

CINDERELLA

We saw the new Cinderella last night and you should see it too. What I loved most was that it was genuinely a children’s movie. While Cate Blanchette as the stepmother and Helena Bonham-Carter as the fairy godmother were on hand to provide some camp (and there was a PG-pushing plethora of men in tights), neither […]

Selfie Sweepstakes reviews: The Legend of Dust Bunnies

DustBunnies

[As an experiment last fall, I invited self-publishers to submit their best new titles for review. About a dozen heeded the call, and I am reviewing their books in this space.] The Legend of Dust Bunnies: A Fairy’s Tale; written byMichelle R. Eastman; illustrated by Kevin Richter. Byway Press, 2014. 40pp. ISBN 978-0-9916244-8-5. Paper ed. 14.95. […]

Synthia Saint James at Simmons

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(Say *that* three times fast!) Next week, visual artist, author, and illustrator Dr. Synthia Saint James will be on the Simmons College campus as the Eileen Friars Leader-in-Residence. Right now some of her art is being installed along the hallway outside the Horn Book office. It’s lovely and thought-provoking — lucky us!

The Writer’s Page: Ex Libris

The author, age 15.

While I know there must be many books that feature great scenes 
set in libraries, one book that I’ve often thought about over the years is The Abortion (1971) by Richard Brautigan, whose narrator works in — and makes his home in — a public library whose shelves are filled with unpublished manuscripts that writers […]