El Deafo

eldeafo

This week, I was lucky enough to have a thirty-minute window when I could pop into my favorite independent bookstore in Los Angeles. They have a large children’s section on the second floor that I love perusing because they do an excellent job at getting new books. On one of their displays sat El Deafo […]

What *about* those Caldecott criteria?

Last week, Robin reminded us how crucial it is to keep the Caldecott criteria in mind as we examine this year’s picture books. We all know that the Caldecott rules and criteria are paramount and inviolable, and for decades committees have obsessively wrestled with the meanings and nuances of “excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed”; […]

Grand and Important: Books for Beginning Readers

Penny and Her Marble

I’m not a teacher, a day-care provider, a doctor, or an educational administrator. I have neither statistics nor formulas to deliver. I’m a parent. I’m a writer and illustrator. And I’m a reader. I have instinct and intuition — that’s it. Today, I’m going to try to answer a couple of questions. How does a […]

The Maze Runner movie review

maze runner poster

I’m a sucker for a good secret. The Maze Runner is all about secrets. If you’ve read James Dashner’s novel, seeing the Twentieth Century Fox movie (released September 19, 2014) is a completely different experience than it would be if you were new to the story. Instead of wondering how a gaggle of teenaged boys […]

2014 BGHB Picture Book Day

brown_mr tiger goes wild

Wednesday and yesterday we gave you web extras honoring our BGHB Nonfiction and Fiction Award winners — today it’s picture books’ turn! Read reviews of all of the 2014 picture book winners here; see below for a lot more web extras to celebrate them. And, if you’re in the Boston area, join us on October […]

2014 BGHB Fiction Day

smith_grasshopper jungle

Yesterday we honored our BGHB Nonfiction Award winners — today it’s fiction’s turn! Read reviews of all of the 2014 fiction winners here; see below for more web extras to celebrate them. And, if you’re in the Boston area, join us on October 10–11, 2014, for the Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium: Mind the Gaps, […]

Same theme, different level

The Skin I'm In

It’s a new year with new kids! I’m working with the same population, but the way this school deals with the social and emotional components of learning is amazing. With that said, I have a group of 8th graders who are very low-level readers. It was a bit surprising because most of them are articulate […]

Blowing the shofar for fine books for boys and girls

rosh-hashana-uk

I’ve been reading a lot of Jewish-themed books lately (thank you, Sydney Taylor Book Award committee ). I just finished Donna Jo Napoli’s very-alternate Noah’s Ark novel Storm about a teenage stowaway who’s saved by two bonobos. Strange and lovely. To celebrate Rosh Hashanah, here are some recent picture books. Lesléa Newman’s beautiful Here Is […]

2014 BGHB Nonfiction Day

sheinkin_port chicago 50

September Nonfiction Notes comes out today, and in this issue we’re highlighting our 2014 BGHB Nonfiction Award winner and honor books. You can read it online or sign up if you’re not already subscribed. Read reviews of all of the 2014 nonfiction winners here; see below for a lot more web extras to celebrate them. […]

The Pilot and the Little Prince

sis_pilot and the little prince

This is a hard post to write. I love Peter Sis’s work, and his latest book, The Pilot and the Little Prince, is getting lots of starred reviews, but I’m having trouble jumping on that bandwagon. Most of my issues with this book wouldn’t fly in a real Caldecott committee discussion. The art is gorgeous and […]