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Review of Life

Rylant, Cynthia Life 48 pp. Simon/Beach Lane 2017. ISBN 978-1-4814-5162-8 Ebook ISBN 978-1-4814-5163-5 (3) K–3 Illustrated by Brendan Wenzel. A reverie on life — its mutability, joys, and challenges — leads to a conclusion of hope: “There is always a new road to take.” The poetic (if slightly bromidic) text is given rigor and specificity […]

Review of Blue Sky White Stars

Naberhaus, Sarvinder Blue Sky White Stars 32 pp. Dial 2017. ISBN 978-0-8037-3700-6 (3) K–3 Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Spare, powerful prose presents the American flag and the American landscape and people in parallel: “Sew together one nation / So together one nation.” Evocative paintings portray the natural scenery as well as images from history, including […]

Review of The Book of Mistakes

Luyken, Corinna The Book of Mistakes 56 pp. Dial 2017. ISBN 978-0-7352-2792-7 (3) K–3 “It started / with one mistake”: a drawing of a girl’s head has mismatched eyes. “But the glasses — they were a good idea”: the eyes are now masked by glasses. The pattern of mistakes followed by cover-ups continues, becoming a […]

Review of The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Pinkney, Jerry The Three Billy Goats Gruff 40 pp. Little 2017. ISBN 978-0-316-34157-8 (3) K–3 Pinkney’s retelling of the classic folktale allows a happier ending for the troll — he is still defeated by the biggest billy goat Gruff but lives to watch the goats reveling in the good life (and possibly, as revealed on […]

From The Guide: Novels in Verse

To honor National Poetry Month in April, we’re spotlighting notable novels in verse from the past year. From illustrated lighthearted verse to historical fiction to contemporary realism, this eclectic potpourri of Horn Book Guide–recommended novels showcases the form and gives readers — from primary-age kids to older teens — good reasons to celebrate poetry. —Katrina […]

What’s in the box?

Reviews of 2159 children’s hardcover titles published between July and December 2011, that’s what. The spring 2012 issue of The Horn Book Guide is out and ready for you. Subscribe online or email: hbmcustserv@cdsfulfillment.com call: 877 523 6072  (outside the U.S. 515-242-0297) fax: 712 733 1277 You can also find these reviews, plus over 85,000 more […]

Paranormal Romance

Dying for some paranormal romance? These swoon-worthy YA stories of supernatural love, all recommended by The Horn Book Guide, are sure to melt hearts and raise spirits. —Elissa Gershowitz, Managing Editor, The Horn Book Guide Cremer, Andrea  Nightshade 454 pp. Philomel 2010. isbn 978-0-399-25482-6 YA  Werewolf Calla defies her pack by saving human Shay from […]

Review of Wonderstruck

With Wonderstruck’s opening wordless sequence of an approaching wolf, readers might think they’ve embarked upon a Gary Paulsen novel, but this is a story not of wilderness adventure but of two young people running—to New York City—for their lives. The pictures (pencil, double-page spread, wordless) follow a young girl, Rose, living in material comfort but also emotional distress in 1927 Hoboken; the text is set in 1977 in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters region, where a boy, Ben, struggles with the death of his mother and the loss of his hearing.

Modelling opportunity for blue-eyed brunettes

While editing my reviews for the upcoming Fall 2011 Horn Book Guide, Elissa spotted these: From the last Guide: Apparently, the heroine of a paranormal YA romance must be an extra-pale, blue-eyed brunette with her hair in her (partial) face—at least, if I’m going to review it.

HBGO update

We’ve just added another 213 reviews to the Horn Book Guide Online database—take a peek at the newly added authors/illustrators and titles. I think my favorite title this time around is The Time-Traveling Fashionista, though Jenna and Jonah’s Fauxmance and Labracadabra are close runners-up.