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Archives for September 2012

The Numberlys app review

“Once upon a time there was no alphabet… only numbers.” William Joyce’s app The Numberlys (Moonbot Studios, January 2012) introduces users to a highly detailed, Metropolis-inspired city scape, where a society of cute blobby creatures manufactures numbers. Numbers form the basis of all organization and communication, but this world, though “orderly,” lacks color, creativity, and […]

When parents are pigs

SLJ’s Kathy Ishizuka links to a recent study suggesting that parents prefer to share print books rather than ebooks with their young children. Who could disapprove, really, but I wish the researchers had looked a little harder at their finding that 30% of parents don’t read ebooks with their children because then the brats will […]


Can a concept book win the Caldecott? I’m pretty sure none have yet. No alphabet books, counting books or color books. What about this one — a color book about just one color? Putting it that way makes Green sound too simple. Trust Seeger to add layers of complexity and meaning, but with a light […]

Bookish Boston: upcoming children’s author events

September is a good month for readers in the Boston area! Last week, Moonbird author Phillip Hoose signed at Porter Square Books in Cambridge. There’s lots more to come, so get out your calendar! Tomorrow,  September 21, Printz award winner Libba Bray will be speaking and signing at the Brookline Public Library. The event begins […]

Whitney and Me: Confessions of a Work-for-Hire Diva

I would call it a guilty pleasure if I felt guilty. But my subscription to People magazine actually liberates me. Instead of furtively flipping pages in the checkout line, hoping to find the photos of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s baby before it’s time to unload the hummus, I have Blue Ivy Carter (seven pounds) delivered, so […]

New booklist: things that go

Toddlers’ fascination with vehicles is well documented—see today’s discussion of Machines Go to Work in the City on Calling Caldecott—but who doesn’t appreciate the excitement of a fast car or a ocean journey? We recommend fiction and nonfiction featuring planes, trains, automobiles, and other things that go for young readers of all ages. These titles […]

Books about planes, trains, and automobiles

The books recommended below were all published within the last several years and reviewed by The Horn Book Magazine. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.   Picture Books Suggested grade level listed with each entry Where’s My T-R-U-C-K? written by Karen Beaumont; illus. by David Catrow (Dial) “Tommy’s not […]

Machines Go to Work in the City

And now for something completely different. William Low’s work involves details, details and more details. This offering is for the young reader who loves trucks and machinery. It does not disappoint. Following the pattern he introduced in Machines Go To Work, the straight-talkin’ text introduces a piece of machinery and ends with a question. The question […]

Reviews of Pirateria and Shiver Me Timbers!

Pirateria: The Wonderful Plunderful 
Pirate Emporium by Calef Brown; illus. by the author Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 7/12    978-1-4169-7878-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-3897-2    $12.99 Brown presents a book-length advertisement for an imaginary emporium of all things pirate. Whether you need rags or pantaloons, spinnakers or planks, you can be sure to find them at Pirateria. […]

Finding the work-home balance

Simultaneously trying to read, for work, Clare Vanderpool’s forthcoming Navigating Early (about two troubled boys in boarding school), and trying to read, for fun, Denise Mina’s latest The End of the Wasp Season (about two troubled boys in boarding school) has me positively confuzzilated. So far, Mina’s boys are in much bigger trouble, but they […]