Updated Spanish-English bilingual booklist

dominguez_maria had a little llama

The books below, recommended by the Horn Book Magazine and Guide, were published within the last five years. While some titles contain only a sprinkling of Spanish vocabulary, many are fully bilingual. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For more Spanish-English bilingual books, click here. Preschool Suggested ages level […]

Intentions and He Said, She Said

alexander_he said, she said

I have written before about our summer program* with Boston Green Academy, and we just finished our two-week institute with ninth and tenth graders from BGA and my students from Boston University. For this summer’s core text, we chose the book He Said, She Said by Kwame Alexander, and it has been fun to watch […]

Kids’ Own Publishing


In 2014 co-founder and publisher Victoria Ryle held a party in Melbourne, Australia, to celebrate Kids’ Own Publishing’s 100th book. She told friends and supporters at the event that the richness of these books comes not only from the books themselves but also from the diverse communities that created them. As a young teacher in […]

Are biographies a hard sell?

Out of the Woods

Can’t get kids to read biographies, you say? Have you tried reading aloud picture book biographies? It’s a sure way to hook kids into the lives, obstacles, and contributions of thousands of individuals, both historical and present day. But aren’t picture books only for young children? Never! Today’s picture book biographies are rich adventure stories […]

Tales with tails


Who wouldn’t want a giant, invisible, jelly bean–eating cat as a best friend? In the following imaginative middle-grade animal fantasy stories, creatures interact with humans in unusual ways, or they are the stars of their own shows. Fifth-grader Jackson, protagonist of Katherine Applegate’s Crenshaw, is the one scientifically minded member of his dreamy family, which […]

Forging a path


Four new picture-book biographies focus on trailblazers, from pioneering social and political activists to groundbreaking dancers and musicians, to inspire a new generation of children. Carole Boston Weatherford’s majestic new book, Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, chronicles the civil-rights icon’s life from her beginnings as the child of […]



From kidnapped young women in bizarre landscapes to invisible helicopters; trippy, graffiti-like illustrations to tantalizing chapter openers that tell a whole other story, these novels use distinctive narrative structures to describe teens in…unusual…circumstances. Patrick Ness’s The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a fantasy novel — and simultaneously a fantasy-novel send-up — whose true […]

Stuff and nonsense


These new picture books put silly spins on their topics, with playful pigs, wily walruses, mischievous mice, hat-stealing creatures (not, this time, a fish) — and antic adventures for all.  In Anita Lobel’s Playful Pigs from A to Z, twenty-six pigs who are exploring the countryside find a field of “magical surprises”: brightly colored, freestanding […]

Inspire interest in STEM with science biography picture books


With all of the push to get young children more interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics, many schools, libraries, and after school programs are integrating these topics into their activities. And, with so many great picture book biographies of scientists available, there is no reason that storytime activities and at-home reading time […]

How to find free and cheap books


I just had an email from Samantha Song, a former student now teaching first grade in Somerville, MA, with a universal question that that I want to pass along to all of you. Here’s what she said: I’d like to pick your brain on an issue I’m having. I was a last minute hire and […]