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A Second Look: The Long Life of a Mockingbird

To make a Tequila Mockingbird, chill your martini glass and cocktail shaker in the freezer. After half an hour, remove the shaker,  throw in a handful of ice, one and a half ounces of tequila, three quarters of an ounce creme de menthe, and the juice of one lime. Shake vigorously, pour into a chilled […]

From The Guide: More Mockingbird

The following reviews are from The Horn Book Guide and The Horn Book Guide Online. For information about subscribing to the Guide and the Guide Online, please visit Ellsworth, Loretta In Search of Mockingbird 183 pp. Holt 2007. ISBN 978-0-8050-7236-5 YA Motivated by her late mother’s diary, aspiring writer Erin spontaneously buys a bus […]

Why We’re Still in Love with Picture Books (Even Though They’re Supposed to Be Dead)

by Allyn Johnston and Marla Frazee Maybe now, while we’re all running around wringing our hands and wondering if picture books are dead, it’s time to declare our love for them. What is a picture book, anyway? In the most basic, classic, and very best sense, you could say it’s a story for young children […]

Early essentials

Every night for, oh, a year and a half, we read our baby The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate. “There was once a little man who had never seen the sea, although his mother was an old pirate woman,” we’d begin, Margaret Mahy’s words swinging us along with the motion and muscle of waves […]

What Makes a Good Baby Shower Book?

When the invitation comes, it’s soft-pastel-sweet or super cheery with bright primary colors. But, in either case, the summons to a baby shower signals a great event and a need for a great present. There are so many possible gifts from which to choose: all those darling little outfits, soft warm blankets, and cuddly stuffed […]

Review of Beauty Queens

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray Middle School, High School    Scholastic    396 pp. 5/11    978-0-439-89597-2    $18.99 It’s The Lord of the Flies with sparkle and hair-straightening irons. Except here, the castaways, teen beauty pageant contestants whose plane has crashed en route to competition, don’t degenerate into savagery; they use their “can-do” Miss Teen Dream spirit to […]