Review of Thank You, Octopus

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Thank You, Octopus by Darren Farrell; illus. by the author Preschool    Dial    40 pp. 6/14    978-0-8037-3438-8    $16.99    g “Bedtime, ahoy,” Octopus declares. His young shipmate isn’t thrilled. “Aw pickles.” Doting Octopus knows that a warm bath, cozy jammies, and a favorite story can help make the end-of-the-day transition easier, and he’s all prepared — in […]

Review of All Different Now

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All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson; 
illus. by E. B. Lewis Primary    Simon    40 pp. 5/14    978-0-689-87376-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-0647-5    $10.99 Juneteenth — commemorating June 19th, 1865, the date slaves in Texas finally learned of their emancipation — is a day of celebration for many African Americans. In […]

To sleep, perchance to dream

zoboli_big book of slumber

A lyrical bedtime reverie; an open-only-at-night library run by a little librarian; a toddler’s pre-dawn escapades; and a kooky bedtime cruise: four new picture books help smooth the way from daytime activity to bedtime quiet. Simona Mulazzani’s lush folk art in cozy nighttime colors lends a magical, drowsy atmosphere to Giovanna Zoboli’s The Big Book […]

Review of Gaston

dipucchio_gaston

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio; 
illus. by Christian Robinson Preschool, Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 6/14    978-1-4424-5102-5    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5103-2    $12.99 Bumptious Gaston looms over his elegant poodle sisters Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, and Ooh-La-La; they’re “no bigger than teacups,” but he’s “the size of a teapot.” Like a good twenty-first-century parent, Mrs. Poodle praises her well-mannered […]

Review of Rules of Summer

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Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan; illus. by the author Primary     Levine/Scholastic     56 pp. 5/14     978-0-545-63912-5     $18.99     g “This is what I learned last summer: Never leave a red sock on the clothesline. Never eat the last olive at a party. Never drop your jar.” The narrator enumerates a […]

Review of The Tree House that Jack Built

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The Tree House that Jack Built by Bonnie Verburg; 
illus. by Mark Teague Primary    Orchard/Scholastic    32 pp. 5/14    978-0-439-85338-5    $17.99    g This version of the old cumulative rhyme “The House that Jack Built” grabs kids right from the start: the cover shows a small boy waving from one of many balconies in a multilevel structure […]

Review of The Little Bear Book

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The Little Bear Book by Anthony Browne; 
illus. by the author Preschool    Candlewick    24 pp. 5/14    978-0-7636-7007-8    $15.99 Bear sets out on a walk through the forest, pencil in hand. Like Harold’s purple crayon and the girl’s red marker in Becker’s Journey (rev. 9/13), Bear’s writing utensil is a magical one. The lushly illustrated woods […]

Review of The Baby Tree

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The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall; illus. by the author Preschool    Paulsen/Penguin    40 pp. 5/14    978-0-399-25718-6    $17.99    g A little boy narrator finds out from his parents one morning that he’s going to be a big brother. Just one question: “Where are we going to get the baby?” Over the course of the day, he […]

2014 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Picture Books (Fiction and Nonfiction)

atinuke_splash, anna hibiscus

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? We’ve hand-picked our top ten in each age range, all published 2013–2014, that are ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For a handy take-along list of titles, follow this link to a printable […]

Sassy siblings

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There’s nothing like a sibling when it comes to trouble-making, attention-seeking, and one-upping. Also: support, companionship, and giggle-sharing. These four new picture books feature brothers and sisters doing what siblings do best. The star of Kelly DiPucchio’s Gaston looms over his poodle sisters Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, and Ooh-La-La. At the park, they meet a family like […]