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Sago Mini Robot Party app review

robot party title

“This is a partying robot with a sock hand, ’cause I gave it a sock hand,” I told Katie. “Do what you gotta do,” she replied. I was in the mood to give my robot a sock hand, so a sock hand he had. And yes, a sock hand can make cupcakes. On the off-chance […]

Review of Flying Frogs and Walking Fish: Leaping Lemurs, Tumbling Toads, 
Jet-Propelled Jellyfish, and More 
Surprising Ways That Animals Move

jenkins_flying frogs and walking fish

Flying Frogs and Walking Fish: Leaping Lemurs, Tumbling Toads, 
Jet-Propelled Jellyfish, and More 
Surprising Ways That Animals Move by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page; illus. by Steve Jenkins Primary    Houghton    40 pp. 5/16    978-0-544-63090-1    $17.99 The authors’ latest collaboration (How Many Ways Can You Catch a Fly?, rev. 1/09; My First Day, rev. 1/13) features […]

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: Early Readers and Primary Grades

Out of the Woods

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 […]

Lil’ Red: An Interactive Story app review

lil red title

What’s black and white and red all over? Lil’ Red: An Interactive Story (2013), Brian Main’s savvy digital retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood.” This light version of the fairy tale more or less follows the traditional trajectory but minimizes scariness. Naive Lil’ Red sets out through the woods for her grandmother’s, meets a hungry […]

Review of Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois

novesky_cloth lullaby

Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois by Amy Novesky; 
illus. by Isabelle Arsenault Primary    Abrams    40 pp. 5/16    978-1-4197-1881-6    $18.95 Novesky returns to territory in which she shines — picture-book biographies of influential and strong-willed female artists (Georgia in Hawaii; Me, Frida) — with this exquisite portrait of modern artist Louise Bourgeois, who […]

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 […]

Folktales redux

hobbie_hansel & gretel

Three recent picture books offer fresh takes on old tales from the likes of Grimm and Aesop; a fourth paints fairy-tale baddies in a more favorable, relatable light. Holly Hobbie’s handsome edition of Hansel & Gretel strikes just the right balance between scary and not-too. The deep green forest is mysterious but inviting, its darkness […]

Review of I Am Pan!

gerstein_i am pan

I Am Pan! by Mordicai Gerstein; 
illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Roaring Brook    80 pp. 3/16    978-1-62672-035-0    $18.99 Never have the first-person point of view and the exclamation point been used more appropriately than in this introduction to the Greek god Pan. Untrammeled ego, low impulse control, resilient, charming — this is a Pan […]