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Review of The Magic Word


The Magic Word by Mac Barnett; illus. by Elise Parsley Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    40 pp. 10/16    978-0-06-235484-6    $17.99 Here, the magic word isn’t please, it’s Alakazoomba, and it’s what amped-up Paxton C. Heymeyer says to summon the cookie that his babysitter won’t let him have — without first saying “the magic word.” With his […]

Aaron Becker on Return


In our September/October 2016 issue, we asked author/illustrator Aaron Becker about a possible cameo in his new picture book Return. Read the full review here, along with reviews of the previous volumes Journey and Quest. Horn Book Editors: Is the father in the story you? Aaron Becker: In a sense, yes. But I think I […]

Review of Return


Return by Aaron Becker; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 8/16    978-0-7636-7730-5    $15.99 This third, wordless installment (Journey, rev. 9/13; Quest, rev. 9/14) brings the story full circle, beginning and ending in the same city brownstone shown in the first book. While Return can be enjoyed on its own, fans will find rewarding […]

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 […]

Monster mash


What goes bump in the night? Maybe it’s a monster, but maybe it’s a new friend — or maybe it’s both! These monstrously silly picture books are perfect treats for a Halloween story time. In Monica Brown’s Marisol McDonald and the Monster / Marisol McDonald y el monstruo, the little-girl protagonist explores words beginning with […]

Review of Du Iz Tak?

Du Iz Tak?

Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    48 pp. 10/16    978-0-7636-6530-2    $16.99    g Picture books have traditionally been a rich source of neologisms. Grinch, knuffle: plums in the puddings of picture book texts. In this story, told in dialogue, Ellis pushes that tradition and invents an entire language. On the […]

On Crescent Dragonwagon’s “Over and Over”

charlotte zolotow

Published on our website in 2012 as part of The Horn Book’s celebration of Picture Book Month, Over and Over is Crescent Dragonwagon’s achingly beautiful tribute to her mother, legendary children’s book editor and author, Charlotte Zolotow. When Crescent wrote this piece, Charlotte was ninety-seven and in failing health; her mother’s picture book Over and […]

Review of King Baby


King Baby by Kate Beaton; illus. by the author Preschool    Levine/Scholastic    40 pp. 10/16    978-0-545-63754-1    $17.99    g Heavy is the head that wears the crown, but this ruler can’t yet support his own neck. A king (really a newborn baby) greets his loyal subjects (really relatives and friends of the family): “I am King Baby!…I […]

Review of Owl Sees Owl


Owl Sees Owl by Laura Godwin; 
illus. by Rob Dunlavey Preschool, Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp. 9/16    978-0-553-49782-3    $17.99    g In this elegantly simple picture book, a little owl leaves its nest and flies out into the deep blue night of the forest. Each double-page spread has just four words, each on a separate […]

Picture books for International Day of Peace


Today is the UN’s International Day of Peace, an annual day “devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.” Celebrate — and share a hope for peace for all — by reading these picture books about compassion, community, and interconnectedness with a child in your life. All were […]