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Just the two of us

Four funny, episodic books for emerging readers feature dynamic duos — human, invertebrate, and everything in between. Laurel Snyder’s beginning chapter book Charlie & Mouse is filled to the brim with sincere, slice-of-life sibling moments. In four chapters, the two eponymous brothers have a party on the playground, attempt to sell rocks to the neighbors, […]

Review of Barkus

Barkus by Patricia MacLachlan; illus. by Marc Boutavant Primary    Chronicle    56 pp. 6/17    978-1-4521-1182-7    $14.99 When globetrotting Uncle Everton sets off on a new voyage, he leaves Barkus — the “smartest dog in the world” — with Nicky and her family. In five brief chapters, Barkus and Nicky change the classroom dynamics at school, host […]

A New Place You’ll Go: Opening Day at The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum

The tagline for the Random House Beginner Book imprint reads “I Can Read It All By Myself” and features a picture of Dr. Seuss’s famed Cat in the Hat. A more accurate line to capture the revolutionary impact Theodor Seuss Geisel had on the beginning reader might be “I Can Read It All By Myself […]

Review of King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats and King & Kayla and the Case of the Secret Code

King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats by Dori Hillestad Butler; illus. by Nancy Meyers Primary    Peachtree    48 pp. 3/17    978-1-56145-877-6    $14.95 King & Kayla and the Case of the Secret Code by Dori Hillestad Butler; illus. by Nancy Meyers Primary    Peachtree    48 pp. 3/17  […]

2017 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Easy Readers and Primary Grades

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2016–2017 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For a handy take-along list of […]

Friendly feuds

Around the same time children are making brave first steps as independent readers, they’re also enlarging their friendship sphere. These four new early chapter books humorously tackle some classic friendship conflicts young readers may encounter — and model some possible resolutions. The answer to the titular question of Leo Landry’s What’s Up, Chuck? is: green-eyed […]

Life lessons in “best friend” easy readers

As a Pre-K teacher, I want to help my students learn to socialize and make friends. Inevitably, children often pair off and become best friends as the year progresses. These relationships involve playing and experiencing great joy together. But best friends can also fight, argue, annoy, and experience sadness. I want to help children in […]

Beginning Readers and the Caldecott

Beginning readers aren’t awarded Caldecott Medals or Honors. Not really. Arnold Lobel did win a Caldecott Honor way back in 1971 for Frog and Toad Are Friends, and the past ten years have seen Caldecott recognition of picture books that also function as beginning readers: Kevin Henkes’s Waiting (2016); Jon Klassen’s This Is Not My Hat (2013); Laura Vaccaro […]

Review of The Great Antonio

The Great Antonio by Elise Gravel; illus. by the author; trans. from the French by Richard Kutner Primary    TOON    64 pp. 10/16    978-1-943145-08-9    $12.95 TOON Books continues to reinvent the easy reader with this biography of eccentric strongman Antonio Barichievich, a Croatian-born showman who became a Montreal legend. Fact, speculation, and tall tale mingle in […]

Picture books and easy readers | Class #2, fall 2016

During our first class, we started to look at picture books. For our second class on October 19, we are adding easy readers into the mix. Here’s what we are reading and discussing: Two more picture books Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown That New Animal by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Pierre Pratt Two […]