Subscribe to The Horn Book

Look closely

isadora_i hear a pickle2

The following books encourage young children to use their powers of observation and look closely at the pages before them — and at the world around them. Starting with a clever, attention-grabbing title — I Hear a Pickle: (and Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!) — Rachel Isadora’s book about the five senses is […]

Review of Twenty Yawns

smiley_twenty yawns

Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley; 
illus. by Lauren Castillo Preschool    Two Lions    32 pp. 4/16    978-1-4778-2635-5    $17.99    g Lucy and her parents stay late at the beach, playing in the waves, walking the length of the shore, rolling down dunes, building a sandcastle. Everyone is happily worn out, and Mom decrees an early bedtime. So […]

Review of Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs

park_yaks yak

Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs by Linda Sue Park; 
illus. by Jennifer Black Reinhardt Primary    Clarion    40 pp. 3/16    978-0-544-39101-7    $16.99 Park and Reinhardt pair animal names with actions in this picture book in which yaks yak, apes ape, parrots parrot, and finally kids kid. Each double-page spread features a single phrase such as “Flounders […]

Reviews of Bye-Bye Binky and I Use the Potty

van lieshout_bye-bye binky

Bye-Bye Binky [Big Kid Power] by Maria van Lieshout; 
illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    24 pp. 3/16    978-1-4521-3536-6    9.99 I Use the Potty [Big Kid Power] by Maria van Lieshout; 
illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    24 pp. 3/16    978-1-4521-3535-9    $9.99 In the Leslie Patricelli preschool-book mold (Potty, rev. 1/11, and many others), these […]

Picture books and early readers | class #2, 2016

LC_books_week2_2016

Now that our first class is done, we can move on to some in-depth reading and discussing. Last week we got our feet wet with two picture books, one a classic and the other a wordless exploration of culture. For our second class on March 31, we will read two more picture books, two easy […]

Review of Chuck and Woodchuck

bell_chuck and woodchuck

Chuck and Woodchuck by Cece Bell; illus. by the author Primary   Candlewick   32 pp. 3/16   978-0-7636-7524-0   $15.99   g New friendships can be forged in many ways; in this case it’s a woodchuck at school for show-and-tell bringing together a shy first-grader named Chuck and his classmate Caroline (both human). Caroline, the narrator, describes the ways […]

Children’s lit class starts this week

wwtwa_mirror

The first day of my children’s lit class at Harvard Ed School will be this Thursday, March 24. Once again, we are hoping you will all help us discuss our readings here on the blog. The students will be required to post comments (short ones, I hope!) and the more comments we can get from […]

Where the Wild Things Are | Class #1 2016

where the wild things are

For our first class this year, we are again reading Where the Wild Things Are, a picture book that is now a classic, but was controversial in its day. Every year there are a handful of students who have never read this book. For those who know it well, I’m interested in hearing whether you […]

Field Notes: Escaping Series Mania

building our house

Last spring I worked, temporarily, as a school librarian, a position I hadn’t held since Reagan was president. There were lots of adjustments, some easier than others. But the biggest surprise of all was that in this elementary school in an affluent suburb in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, almost every child was really reading, with […]

Review of Surf’s Up

alexander_surf's up

Surf’s Up by Kwame Alexander; 
illus. by Daniel Miyares Primary    North-South    32 pp. 2/16    978-0-7358-4220-5    $17.95    g Alexander follows up his poignant 2015 Newbery-winning middle-grade verse novel The Crossover (rev. 5/14) with…a picture book starring two frogs, one a surfer dude, the other a bookworm. “SURF’S UP, BRO!” calls the first frog to his bud. […]