Review of Penny and Her Doll

Penny and Her Doll by Kevin Henkes

Penny and Her Doll by Kevin Henkes; illus. by the author Primary    Greenwillow    32 pp. 8/12    978-0-06-208199-5    $12.99 Naming things, whether children, pets, or toys, is serious business, and in this follow-up to Penny and Her Song (rev. 3/12) Henkes doesn’t take that task lightly. Gram sends mouse Penny a doll: “The doll had pink […]

Review of Mom, It’s My First Day 
of Kindergarten!

Mom, It's My First Day of Kindergarten

 Mom, It’s My First Day 
of Kindergarten! by Hyewon Yum; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Foster/Farrar    40 pp. 7/12    978-0-374-35004-8    $16.99    g “Mom, wake up!” In the art, a young boy looms large, while his mom appears small and kind of blue (as in “sad,” though she’s also pale blue from head to toe). […]

Review of A Home for Bird

A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead

A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead; illus. by the author Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    32 pp. 6/12    978-1-59643-711-1    $16.99    g Stead (author of A Sick Day for Amos McGee, rev. 5/10) returns with another terrific tale of devoted friendship. Starting on the copyright page, we see a little bird thrown from the back of […]

Review of Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95

Moonbird by Phillip M. Hoose

Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with 
the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose Intermediate, Middle School, High School Farrar    
148 pp.    7/12    978-0-374-30468-3    $21.99 He’s called “Moonbird” because, over a lifespan of twenty years, he’s flown some 325,000 miles, the distance to the moon and almost halfway back. This robin-sized red knot (subspecies rufa), […]

Review of Jimmy the Greatest!

Jimmy the Greatest by Jairo Buitrago

Jimmy the Greatest! by Jairo Buitrago; illus. by 
Rafael Yockteng; trans. from 
the Spanish by Elisa Amado Primary    Groundwood    48 pp. 5/12    978-1-55498-178-6    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-206-6    $18.95 What happens when a boy from a nondescript small town grows up to be a talented boxer? Most would dream of bigger and better places, but not […]

Review of Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses

koertge_lies knives and girls in red dresses

Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses by Ron Koertge; illus. by Andrea Dezsö High School     Candlewick     88 pp. 7/12     978-0-7636-4406-2     $19.99 A much-honored poet and novelist retells, in free verse and from various points of view, twenty-three familiar tales (mostly Grimm, Andersen, and Perrault). With a contemporary sensibility and voice, Koertge pitches directly to […]

Susan Katz on The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub

The President's Stuck in the Bathtub by Susan Katz

From the May/June 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Jennifer Brabander asks The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub author Susan Katz about writing presidential poetry. Read the full review of The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub here. Jennifer Brabander: Which president was the hardest to write a poem about? Susan Katz: James Monroe. The […]

Review of The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems about the Presidents

The President's Stuck in the Bathtub by Susan Katz

The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems about the Presidents by Susan Katz; illus. by Robert Neubecker Primary, Intermediate Clarion 64 pp. 2/12 978-0-547-18221-6 $17.99 In forty-three poems, Katz gives each of our U.S. presidents their due. She concentrates on little-known facts (William McKinley taught his parrot “Yankee Doodle”) but often slips in sly political […]

Review of A Confusion of Princes

A Confusion of Princes

A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix Middle School, High School    Harper/HarperCollins    337 pp. 5/12    978-0-06-009694-6    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-06-009695-3    $18.89    g Nix’s gaming-inspired, sci-fi fantasy is a pleasing mix of high-adventure space drama, total bunkum (e.g., “it’s functioning on the tertiary backup level, without a holo…”), and wry, boyish charm. Khemri’s coming-of-age story begins […]

Review of Animal Masquerade

Dubuc Animal Masquerade 300x299

Animal Masquerade by Marianne Dubuc; trans. from 
the French by Yvette Ghione; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Kids Can    120 pp. 3/12    978-1-55453-782-2    $16.95 For kids who never tire of driving one joke into the ground, this is the perfect book—and for their adults, there are enough surprises to make that one joke tolerable […]