Tales as old as time

book of greek myths

It should hardly come as a surprise to anyone that when it comes to the Disney princesses, I find myself identifying most with Belle, the brunette bookworm from Beauty and the Beast. The notion of a girl longing to escape her world through the pages of a story presented a strong parallel to my own […]

What Makes a Good Nonfiction Adaptation?


In 1998, news anchor Peter Jennings and producer Todd Brewster created The Century, a hefty pictorial history covering pivotal events from the twentieth century related by those who had witnessed them. A year later, in collaboration with young-adult author background explanations were added in deference to younger readers whose limited experiential backgrounds might prevent comprehension […]

Review of Macbeth


Macbeth by William Shakespeare; adapted and illustrated by Gareth Hinds Middle School, High School   Candlewick   146 pp. 2/15   978-0-7636-6943-0   $21.99 Paper ed. 978-0-7636-7802-9   $12.99 Whereas Romeo and Juliet received a striking makeover with a new setting and an ethnically diverse cast in Hinds’s graphic-novel version (rev. 11/13), he has chosen to remain faithful to the […]

The whole song and…book?


I’m going to come straight out and admit it­ — I’m kind of a choir nerd. Or at least, I was in high school. So when I pulled Sleep (Acroterion, August 2013) by Charles Anthony Silvestri from a box this morning, a familiar chord sounded somewhere in the recesses of my mind (nope, not sorry […]

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore app review

morris lessmore menu

“Everyone’s story matters,” according to Morris Lessmore, a lifelong lover of books and the title character of William Joyce’s The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. That’s certainly a worthy notion, and it has made me a champion of this particular story since the animated short film first won an Academy Award in February, […]

May the Force be with you (and your reading!)

Star Wars Reads Day

[cue 20th Century Fox intro] [cue Star Wars theme song] Tomorrow, Saturday October 6, 2012 is the first National Star Wars Reads Day, designed to “celebrate reading and Star Wars.” While this may be an unusual pairing, I’m all for promoting events that encourage children to read. So in honor of the inaugural event, I’ve […]

My First Root Children

My First Root Children

Though we’re now far from the first blooms of spring, a board book edition of Sibylle von Olfers’ The Story of the Root Children (also published as When the Root Children Wake Up with English text by Helen Fish) has cropped up in the office. My First Root Children (Floris Books, June 2012) is an […]

Children’s books LIVE!

Peter and the Starcatcher

Two weeks ago Peter and the Starcatcher won five Tony Awards, including best performance by an actor in a featured role. The play, which is based on Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s Peter Pan prequel series, received nine total nominations. This children’s literature/theater connection sparked my curiosity, so I did a little research on the […]

Truffula treats

lorax pop-up

In honor of Dr. Seuss’s 108th birthday (happy birthday Ted!), the premiere of the new animated The Lorax film, and the  annual Read Across America Day, I took a look at David A. Carter’s The Lorax Pop-up! book (Robin Corey Books/Random House, January). After all, I am a reviewer. I speak for the books! This […]

Gettin’ Bizzy

bizzy on the farm menu

Benji Davies’s illustrations for the Bizzy Bear board books (Nosy Crow) are like catnip for young children. I defy any toddler or preschooler worth her salt to walk by a Bizzy Bear book and not pick it up. The wide-eyed, cheerful animals on the construction site (Let’s Get to Work!)  or traveling to the beach […]