Subscribe to The Horn Book

Review of The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Pinkney, Jerry The Three Billy Goats Gruff 40 pp. Little 2017. ISBN 978-0-316-34157-8 (3) K–3 Pinkney’s retelling of the classic folktale allows a happier ending for the troll — he is still defeated by the biggest billy goat Gruff but lives to watch the goats reveling in the good life (and possibly, as revealed on […]

Review of Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals

Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals by Mo Willems; illus. by the author Preschool    Hyperion    32 pp. 5/17    978-1-4847-6746-7    $15.99 An offstage narrator addresses listeners using the language of the hospitality industry: “THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. / Your arrival has been anxiously awaited…PLEASE / ENJOY YOUR STAY.” Our world is presented as a cruise […]

Review of Home in the Rain

Home in the Rain by Bob Graham; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 6/17    978-0-7636-9269-8    $16.99 Francie and her pregnant mom are driving home from Grandma’s in a bucketing rain — perilously, it feels. When their little red car is forced off the highway by a huge truck, they (safely) pull off into […]

Picture books for the first day of fall

Happy first day of fall! Heat up some cider or cocoa, snuggle in, and share these autumnal picture books for a perfect celebration of the season. All of the titles below were recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide at the time of their publication; reviews reprinted from The Horn Book […]

Review of In Your Hands

In Your Hands by Carole Boston Weatherford; illus. by Brian Pinkney Preschool, Primary    Atheneum    32 pp. 9/17    978-1-4814-6293-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6294-5    $10.99 It looks like a baby-shower book, and it is a baby-shower book — but with a difference. On pastel backgrounds amidst the soft, swirling swoops of Pinkney’s gentle lines and colors, Weatherford […]

Review of A Different Pond

A Different Pond by Bao Phi; illus. by Thi Bui Primary, Intermediate    Capstone    32 pp.    g 8/17    978-1-62370-803-0    $15.95 e-book ed.  978-1-62370-804-7    $9.95 Hours before sunrise, a father and son go fishing for that night’s meal. So begins this powerfully understated picture book, which shifts the focus of the refugee narrative from the harrowing journey […]

Review of Flashlight Night

Flashlight Night by Matt Forrest Esenwine; illus. by Fred Koehler Primary    Boyds Mills    32 pp. 9/17    978-1-62979-493-8    $16.95 On any dark night, a flashlight illuminating shadows can create delicious thrills. Here, a trio of kids is seen on the title page crossing a dark backyard toward a tree house. A boy carries a stack of […]

Back-to-school silliness

School is in session. Here are some new picture books that play up the silliness for students and teachers — including one most ridiculous substitute. For more, look to our Back-to-School Horn Book Herald and What Makes a Good School Story? newsletters. The mischievous feline star of Here Comes Teacher Cat by Deborah Underwood is […]

Review of Why Am I Me?

Why Am I Me? by Paige Britt; illus. by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko Preschool    Scholastic    40 pp.    g 9/17    978-1-338-05314-2    $17.99 A boy and a girl of different skin colors board the same subway car as it travels through a city. As their gazes meet, each child seems to be quietly pondering questions posed […]

Picture books & easy readers | class #2, fall 2017

During our first class, we started to look at picture books. For our second class on September 20, we are adding easy readers into the mix. Here’s what we are reading and discussing: Three more picture books That New Animal by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Pierre Pratt School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, […]