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Review of Uncle Holland

Uncle Holland by JonArno Lawson; illus. by Natalie Nelson Primary    Groundwood    32 pp. 4/17    978-1-55498-929-4    $17.95 Lawson, author of the touching Sidewalk Flowers (rev. 5/15), returns with a whimsical story based on his uncle Holland, who was always getting into trouble as a child. With an eye for pretty things and […]

Review of Give Bees a Chance

Give Bees a Chance by Bethany Barton; illus. by the author Primary    Viking    40 pp.    g 4/17    978-0-670-01694-5    $16.99 The main character of this book — a cartoon boy named Edgar, eyes opened wide in amusingly fearful and skeptical facial expressions — definitely doesn’t like bees. This gives the (offstage) […]

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  […]

Review of Goldfish Ghost

Goldfish Ghost by Lemony Snicket; illus. by Lisa Brown Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 5/17    978-1-62672-507-2    $17.99 This story begins with a death framed in terms of a birth. “Goldfish Ghost was born on the surface of the water in a bowl on the dresser in a boy’s room.” Our hero […]

Review of We Come Apart

We Come Apart by Brian Conaghan and Sarah Crossan High School    Bloomsbury    312 pp.    g 6/17    978-1-68119-275-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-68119-276-5    $12.99 Two troubled UK teens forge an unlikely romance in this novel in verse. Jess, a jaded tough girl, nicked some cosmetics with friends who let her take […]

Review of Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia Intermediate, Middle School    Amistad/HarperCollins    166 pp.    g 5/17    978-0-06-221591-8    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-221594-9    $9.34 “Electric blues sparks jumped out into the night” when Cool Papa Byrd plays his guitar in Washington Square Park, and all grandson Clayton wants is to be waved […]

BGHB at 50: The Garden of Abdul Gasazi: A Personal Recollection

In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, established in 1967, we will be publishing a series of appreciations of BGHB winners and honorees from the past. This is the second in the series to be published in The Horn Book Magazine (see Gregory Maguire’s article on Jill Paton Walsh’s Unleaving). […]

Review of Triangle

Triangle by Mac Barnett; illus. by Jon Klassen Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    48 pp. 3/17    978-0-7636-9603-0    $15.99 Triangle leaves his triangle-shaped house via his triangle-shaped door, off to “play a sneaky trick on Square.” He walks to Square’s house and stands outside the square-shaped door, hissing like a snake. Square, who is […]

Presenting… “The Straight Poop on Potty Humor” (from 2017)

If you spend any amount of time with kids under, say ten (dear god, I hope it stops after ten…), you are undoubtedly waist deep in potty humor. Here’s one of my kids’ favorites: Knock knock! Who’s there? Europe! Europe who? Hey! You’re a poo! Actually, it was funny the first time we heard it. […]

The Straight Poop on Potty Humor

We are each the mother of two young children who range in age from four to eight. These children love potty humor, and they’re not alone. There’s something about those four ps (poop, pee, penis, puke), a couple of bs (burp, butt), and an f (fart) that gets kids giggling. Some adults love this type […]