ABC, easy as 123

tullet_mix it up

Who says ABC books are just for babies? Why can’t you mix up some colors using just your finger, no paint? The following concept books defy conventions — and expectations. In Mix It Up!, Hervé Tullet follows the same format as in his hugely entertaining Press Here, but this time the play is focused on […]

Youth Media Awards and teachers

tamaki_this one summer

I’ve been somewhat preoccupied this week since the ALA Youth Media Award announcements Monday morning. Here at the Horn Book, we swing into action putting up web posts with our reviews of the winning books. Over at my other blog, Calling Caldecott, the award announcement signals the beginning of the end of our blog season. […]

Classics and timeless books

allofakindfamily

As a child, I frequented libraries that had rather old books. I remember my elementary school library had timeworn copies of the Madeline books and that one of my neighborhood libraries had old books by Lois Lenski, older versions of the Amelia Bedelia books, and the All-of-a-Kind Family books by Sydney Taylor. New books did […]

World War II graphic novels

Maus

This quarter in fifth grade, we’ve been reading Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars, and my students were ready and curious to learn about World War II. I’m a big fan of Number the Stars, but I noticed that during my lectures, students kept saying that the supplemental books I had given them had already taught […]

Books and stuff

bookfair1

It’s that time of year again. Book fair time. “Miss Hewes! Look at the figurines I bought! Aren’t the polar bear and the penguin so cute?” I’ll be honest – yes, little rubberized figurines in the likenesses of polar bears are cute. I understand the appeal of such items to young children. However, I am […]

Books mentioned in the January 2015 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Black History Month Story of the Civil Rights Movement in Photographs series Aretha, David The Story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Photographs Gr. 4–6     48 pp.    Enslow     2014 Library binding ISBN 978-0-7660-4234-6 Aretha, David The Story of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement in Photographs Gr. 4–6     48 pp.    Enslow     2014 Library […]

Physics and chemistry

adam_super science matter matters

Adams, Tom Super Science: Matter Matters! Gr. 4–6    18 pp.    Candlewick/Templar Illustrated by Thomas Flintham. In this chemistry overview on eight double-page pop-up spreads, readers can explore topics ranging from atoms and elements to water, air, and radioactivity. Some of the movable features creatively present content, such as mini-booklets for scientist profiles and flaps that […]

Language and literature

bryant_right word

Becker, Helaine AlphaBest: The Zany, Zanier, Zaniest Book About Comparatives and Superlatives Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Kids Can Illustrated by Dave Whamond. Adjectival comparatives and superlatives from angry, angrier, angriest to zany, zanier, zaniest are presented alongside energetic cartoons of carnival scenes. Some pages require a careful look to discern the connection between word and […]

Archaeology

aveni_buried beneath us

Athans, Sandra K. Secrets of the Sky Caves: Danger and Discovery on Nepal’s Mustang Cliffs Gr. 4–6     64 pp.     Millbrook The “sky caves” were dug into cliff faces in Nepal’s Mustang region roughly one-thousand years ago. Variously used as living and burial spaces, the caves remained unexplored and unused for centuries until they were unearthed […]

Presidents and their families

gherman_first mothers

Gherman, Beverly First Mothers Gr. K–3     64 pp.    Clarion Illustrated by Julie Downing. This book provides a fascinating perspective on U.S. presidents by focusing on the personalities and influences of their mothers. Each mom has her own section, descriptive epithet (e.g., Barbara Pierce Bush, “The Outspoken Mother”), amusing anecdote, and cartoonlike portrait; sidebars in varying […]