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Picture Book Reviews of 2016 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Winner and Honor Books

orgill_jazz day

Picture Book Winner Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgill; 
illus. by Francis Vallejo Intermediate    Candlewick    54 pp. 3/16    978-0-7636-6954-6    $18.99    g On August 12, 1958, fifty-plus jazz musicians, famous and emerging, gathered together in front of a brownstone in Harlem for a group photo shoot. The resulting photograph has become […]

Review of Chicken in Space

lehrhaupt_chicken in space

Chicken in Space by Adam Lehrhaupt; 
illus. by Shahar Kober Preschool, Primary    Harper/HarperCollins    40 pp. 5/16    978-0-06-236412-8    $17.99 Launching with a dramatic and intriguing start (“Zoey wasn’t like the other chickens. She had dreams. She had a plan. She had a pig”), this farm-fresh picture book trails Zoey as she boldly marches through the pages […]

Ice cream and existentialism

naoshi_ice cream work

There are so many things to say about Naoshi‘s picture book Ice Cream Work (Overcup Press, October 2015), but for the sake of orientation, I’ll begin with a brief synopsis. This, according to the jacket copy, is “an utterly delicious story of a humble ice cream cone trying to find meaningful work.” And so it […]

Review of Flora and the Peacocks

idle_flora and the peacocks

Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle; illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    40 pp. 5/16    978-1-4521-3816-9    $17.99 Idle’s third wordless picture book starring Flora (Flora and the Flamingo, rev. 7/13; Flora and the Penguin, rev. 11/14) is, appropriately, about a three-way friendship and the tricky dynamics thereof. Flora curtsies hello to a pair of […]

HBook Podcast 1.12 – Special Guest Educator


Podcast the sixth in which Siân and early education teacher Meg Lederhos (who also happens to be Siân’s coworker at The Bar) talk about content, curriculum, and diversity (or lack thereof) in books for the classroom. Books we talk about Robert McCloskey, Make Way for Ducklings Aaron Becker, Journey Shana Corey, The Secret Subway Hervé Tullet, […]

Review of Excellent Ed

mcanulty_excellent ed

Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty; 
illus. by Julia Sarcone-Roach Primary    Knopf    32 pp. 5/16    978-0-553-51023-2    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-553-51024-9    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-553-51025-6    $10.99 Ed, the beloved dog in the Ellis family, has a bit of an inferiority complex. Each of the five alliteratively named Ellis children has something that he or she is “excellent” […]

2016 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Picture Books

alexander_surf's up

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2015–2016 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For a handy take-along list of […]

Review of The Airport Book

brown_airport book

The Airport Book by Lisa Brown; illus. by the author Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 5/16    978-1-62672-091-6    $17.99 As an (interracial) family of four scrambles to leave its city apartment for the airport, readers get used to the book’s approach: as narrated by the older brother, a straightforward but lively main text provides basic information […]

Lisa Brown on The Airport Book

brown_airport book

In our May/June 2016 issue, editor Martha Parravano chatted with Lisa Brown about the motley cast of characters in her high-flying new picture book. Read the starred review of The Airport Book. Martha V. Parravano: Who was your favorite character to follow through the book? Lisa Brown: My favorite character was one that my son […]

Review of Thunder Boy Jr.

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Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie; 
illus. by Yuyi Morales Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 5/16    978-0-316-01372-7    $17.99    g “I HATE MY NAME!” Why, Thunder Boy Smith complains, couldn’t he have been named “Sam” like his mother (Agnes) wanted? And why does he have to share his name with his father, Thunder Boy Smith […]