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We wish you a merry Bookmas!


Last year I pulled together a few bookish gifts we were drooling over — here are some literary presents we’re giving (and maybe, hopefully getting) this holiday season. Shoshana I’m only actually giving this to one person, but I find myself recommending It’s Only Stanley to everyone who asks for a picture book recommendation. It […]

Review of Samurai Santa: A Very Ninja Christmas

pingk_samurai santa

Samurai Santa: A Very Ninja Christmas by Rubin Pingk; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Simon   40 pp. 9/15   978-1-4814-3057-9   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-3058-6   $10.99 It’s hard to be a ninja when no one will join your snowball fight for fear of landing on Santa’s naughty list. There’s only one thing for Yukio to do: […]

Five reasons to get your holiday gifts from a bookstore

Holidays at Brookline Booksmith. Used by permission.

In our January/February 2016 issue, Abby McGanney Nolan tackles a topic dear to my former-bookselling (and aspiring children’s-book-creating) heart. Her article “Shelf Lives: From Bookseller to Bestseller” features interviews with a slew of children’s book creators who got their start working in bookstores. Plenty of current and former Horn Bookers have also spent time as […]

’Twas the eighth day of Hanukkah…

last day of hanukkah 2

’Twas the eighth day of Hanukkah. (Chanukah? Well, it’s easy to celebrate, harder to spell.) The table was covered in relics of wax, and presents long-opened were sitting in stacks. The gelt was just wrappers. The dreidels were spun. The Maccabees’ moment was quite nearly done. Then off near the shelves, there arose such a […]

Happy (C)Han(n)uk(k)a(h)!

barash_is it hanukkah yet

The Festival of Lights began last night, and I’ve got the latke lunch to prove it. Here are some recent Hanukkah-themed picture books to (let’s be honest) get smothered in applesauce. Reviews are from The Horn Book Magazine’s 2015 Holiday High Notes and from The Horn Book Guide Online. For more Horn Book Hanukkah recommendations, […]

Review of Oskar and the Eight Blessings

simon_oskar and the eight blessings

Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Richard Simon and Tanya Simon; illus. by Mark Siegel Primary, Intermediate   Roaring Brook   40 pp. 9/15   978-1-59643-949-8   $17.99 In 1938, the last night of Hanukkah coincided with Christmas Eve, and for a young Jewish refugee in Manhattan, both holidays provided blessings. Following Kristallnacht, Oskar’s parents had put him on […]

Blowing the shofar, again, for fine books for boys and girls


List updated 9/15. Or should I say 5776? To celebrate Rosh Hashanah, here are some recent picture books. Lesléa Newman’s beautiful Here Is the World, illustrated by Susan Gall, is a lyrical, kid-friendly survey of Jewish holidays throughout the seasons.The sweet and rollicking Rabbi Benjamin’s Buttons by Alice B. McGinty, illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt, […]

‘Tis the season…

french_broken harbor

…to get in some leisure reading! Here’s what we’ll be reading during our lazy vacation days and holiday travel. Katie: I have long flights to California and back. My preferred plane reading is adult mystery and horror, so I’m hoping to pick up Tana French’s Broken Harbor (the fourth book in her Dublin Murder Squad […]

Merry Bookmakwanzaakkah

Miniature Classic Novels Book Necklace Charm: Garth Nix's Sabriel by JaDaJewelry

I know we’re in full holiday swing, but there’s still 1) time to think about bookish gifts to give your bookish loved ones and 2) time to hint about bookish gifts you’d like to receive yourself. Really, bookish gifts are great any time of year! I suspect I have successfully browbeaten my aunt into getting […]

Books mentioned in the October 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Julie Berry All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry, Viking, 14 years and up. The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry, Roaring Brook, 11–14 years. Eerie places Nine Open Arms by Benny Lindelauf, trans. by John Nieuwenhuizen, Enchanted Lion, 9–12 years. Greenglass House by Kate Milford, illus. by […]