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

dipucchio_gaston

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 […]

Picture books for launching mathematicians

Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday

My school uses a play-based approach to teaching math, which is advantageous because as an early childhood teacher, my students still love math and they love to play games. They enjoy learning and working with numbers and I can build on this through math games. For me, teaching math is often challenging because my own […]

Review of From There to Here

croza_from there to here

From There to Here by Laurel Croza; illus. by Matt James Primary, Intermediate    Groundwood    32 pp. 5/14    978-1-55498-365-0    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-366-7    $16.95 In the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award-winning I Know Here (rev. 5/10), the young narrator knows she and her family will soon be leaving their home in the glorious wilderness of Saskatchewan, and […]

Chill out, animals

saltzberg_chengdu

While proofreading the May/June Magazine book reviews section, Martha astutely noted how many of the picture books feature animals draped over branches. (Trust us on Two Little Birds; the picture is inside.) Nice life, animals.       

Review of Tap Tap Boom Boom

bluemle_tap tap boom boom

Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle; 
illus. by G. Brian Karas Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-5696-6    $16.99 Many picture books about storms are set in the country (e.g., Shetta Crum’s Thunder-Boomer!, rev. 7/09), but this one takes place in the big city. Bluemle uses rhymes and rhythms to convey the sudden changes […]

Review of Queen Victoria’s 
Bathing Machine

whelan_queen victoria's bathing machine

Queen Victoria’s 
Bathing Machine by Gloria Whelan; 
illus. by Nancy Carpenter Primary    Wiseman/Simon    40 pp. 4/14    978-1-4169-2753-2    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5885-7    $12.99 How could Queen Victoria get into the sea on a hot day? Modesty decreed that she mustn’t be seen in her bathing costume. It’s Prince Albert to the rescue with a queen-sized […]

Review of Here Comes the Easter Cat

underwood_here comes the easter cat

Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood; 
illus. by Claudia Rueda Preschool    Dial    80 pp. 1/14    978-0-8037-3939-0    $16.99    g Cat discovers an advertisement for the Easter Bunny’s arrival on the front endpapers of this witty offering, and from the very first page he is unhappy about it. The text addresses Cat directly throughout the […]

Big-city picture books

jacobs_count on the subway

Visiting big cities can foster both excitement and anxiety. Whether young children are already well traveled or just curious about new places, these four picture books can provide them with excellent armchair tours of New York City and Europe. A little girl traveling on the subway counts from one (“1 MetroCard”) to ten (“10 friends […]

Review of You Can’t Have Too Many Friends!

gerstein_you can't have too many friends

You Can’t Have 
Too Many Friends! by Mordicai Gerstein; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Holiday    32 pp. 4/14    978-0-8234-2393-4    $16.95    g e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3101-4    $16.95 This retold French folktale (“Drakestail”) stars a farmer duck who, in this absurdist version, is wealthy in the jelly beans he has grown. When the little-boy king “borrows” his […]