Animal sounds

what does the fox say

It seems like lately everyone’s been asking “What does the fox say?” but children’s books have been asking this question (and others like it) since long before it was cool. Not only are animal noises fun and engaging for children to read aloud or say along, but the variety of these noises shows kids that […]

Flora is the new Chloe?

flora and the flamingo

Last year, Betsy Bird commented on the “Cluster of Chloes” showing up in children’s books. (And, in the comments section, Lois Lowry noted the Emmas and Bens of yore.) A new crop of books seems to have blossomed, all starring girls (or other animals) named Flora. Recent books…and counting: Flora and the Flamingo by Molly […]

Paging Jaime Sommers, or: Girls-who-don’t-know-they’re-part-robotic are the new zombies

bionic_woman

Vampires have had their day in the sun. Zombies are resting in peace. The new it-girls in supernatural romance seems to be bionic women. [Possible spoilers appear below; and, okay, to be fair, they're not all robots, but I do sense a trend. And just for fun, Freaks & Geeks fans, click here.] Cinder (Feiwel, […]

All hail the queen

The Queen of Kentucky

First there was The Queen of Kentucky (by Alecia Whitaker, Little/Poppy, January). Look what popped up yesterday at our offices: The Princesses of Iowa (by M. Molly Backes, Candlewick, May).     Could this be a new trend? Regal YA? I hope the royals aren’t limited to the Midwest though—I, for one, wouldn’t mind The […]

Well, this bites

norvelt33 3copy

Here at the Horn Book we’ve gotten used to publishers sending us off-the-wall books.  But this week even we were taken aback when we lifted the flap of a box and found this volume sitting on top of the stack:                           As Bertha […]

Here’s lookin’ at you

heart-shaped glasses

Intern Ariel gave Juliet Marillier’s forthcoming Shadowfell (Knopf, September) and A. C. Gaughen’s just-published Scarlet (Walker, February) a makeover. Now they’re fashion-forward for summer 2012.

Summer trend watch

heart-shaped 1

I can’t believe that I’m already sorting through mounds of July and August galleys for the Spring 2013 Guide issue. I’m also floored that heart-shaped glasses are apparently this summer’s hottest trend. Don’t believe it either? These two nearly identical summer ARC covers might convince you:     Personally, I’m still a cat-eye kind of […]

Ripperology: Saucy Jack is back

ripper petrucha

Jack the Ripper has been creeping into children’s literature recently: Gordon Korman included him in his 2011 Titanic trilogy (Scholastic). (Incorporating a Ripper mystery aboard the famed ship now marking the 100th anniversary of its sinking? That should sell a few books.) Last September saw the release of the first book in Maureen Johnson’s exciting […]

Modelling opportunity for blue-eyed brunettes

cryptic cravings

While editing my reviews for the upcoming Fall 2011 Horn Book Guide, Elissa spotted these: From the last Guide: Apparently, the heroine of a paranormal YA romance must be an extra-pale, blue-eyed brunette with her hair in her (partial) face—at least, if I’m going to review it.

>Cross out Beezus!

>I just saw two three four new YA novels indulging employing  annoying pervasive strike-throughs to indicate a narrator’s dithering second thoughts or transparently self-buffing lies strategic rearrangements of the truth. I think this might be 2012′s dead girl OCD selectively mute protagonist of choice. It’s kind of like when everyone gets the same toy for […]