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There Is a Bird On Your Head | Class #2, 2016


Mo Willems has become THE master of easy readers. With pre-book work including Sesame Street and animation, he had the perfect training to create child- and teacher-friendly easy readers. I think he deserves every one of his many awards. What do you notice in this deceptively simple book? What does he do with simple shapes […]

Ling and Ting | Class #2, 2016


This is one of two early readers (a.k.a. easy readers) for our second class. At the end of our last class, we talked about the difference between picture books and easy readers. How well do you think this book works in the early reader genre? Clearly it’s for somewhat more fluent readers than the Elephant […]

Children’s lit class starts this week


The first day of my children’s lit class at Harvard Ed School will be this Thursday, March 24. Once again, we are hoping you will all help us discuss our readings here on the blog. The students will be required to post comments (short ones, I hope!) and the more comments we can get from […]

Where the Wild Things Are | Class #1 2016

where the wild things are

For our first class this year, we are again reading Where the Wild Things Are, a picture book that is now a classic, but was controversial in its day. Every year there are a handful of students who have never read this book. For those who know it well, I’m interested in hearing whether you […]

Mirror by Jeannie Baker | Class #1, 2016


Wordless books present an interesting challenge to adults who share them with children. Is there a right way to read them? The great children’s literature specialist Rudine Sims Bishop has written about books for children needing to be both windows and mirrors. This book seems to me to be the epitome of that idea. There’s […]

Books mentioned in the March 2016 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Inspiring women Women Who Broke the Rules series Krull, Kathleen  Dolley Madison Illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher Gr. 4–6     48 pp.     Bloomsbury     2015 Trade ISBN 978-0-8027-3793-9 Paperback ISBN 978-0-8027-3794-6 Krull, Kathleen  Judy Blume Illustrated by David Leonard Gr. 4–6     48 pp.     Bloomsbury     2015 Trade ISBN 978-0-8027-3795-3 Paperback ISBN 978-0-8027-3796-0 Krull, Kathleen  Sonia Sotomayor […]


botany_canavan_do plants really eat insects

Canavan, Thomas Do Plants Really Eat Insects?: Questions and Answers About the Science of Plants Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Arcturus Science F.A.Q. series. Questions and answers about plant science are loosely grouped into thirteen categories such as “Try this for size” with information about giant redwoods and “Going to extremes” about plants growing in severe […]



Becker, Helaine Zoobots: Wild Robots Inspired by Real Animals Gr. 4–6   32 pp.     Kids Can Illustrated by Alex Ries. This unique book introduces a variety of robotic devices based on animals. Each device is introduced on a two-page spread set up like a video-game-character profile, touching on name, realm, team, super skill, specifications, applications, and […]

National Poetry Month 2016

poetry_bulion_random body parts

Bulion, Leslie  Random Body Parts: Gross Anatomy Riddles in Verse Gr. K–3     48 pp.     Peachtree Illustrated by Mike Lowery. Various poetic forms take readers on a funny and quirky tour of human anatomy, starting with the stomach and ending with complaints from some often-ignored organs such as the gallbladder. Sidebars contain more straightforward scientific information; […]

Earth Day 2016

earth day_baillie_how to save a species

Baillie, Marilyn, Jonathan Baillie, and Ellen Butcher How to Save a Species Gr. 4–6     48 pp.     Owlkids Featuring fifteen animals and two plants, this book offers succinct information on the habitat, numbers remaining (there are only four Red River giant softshell turtles left!), and action needed to save each endangered species. Clear color photographs of […]