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Archives for March 2013

Reading about Families in My Family

In my family there are two moms and five kids. I’ve yet to find a children’s book that depicts a cast of characters that looks anything like our particular multiracial, foster-adoptive family constellation, and I know there are lots of artistic, social, political, and market-driven reasons for this; for one thing, such a book would […]

What Makes a Good YA Coming-Out Novel?

Since John Donovan’s groundbreaking 1969 I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip, young adult novels featuring gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning teens have come a long way. Once few and far between, they have enjoyed a steady rise in numbers and prominence, particularly over the last decade, as prolific and acclaimed queer* […]

The Little Prince at 70

Confession: I’d never before read The Little Prince. Growing up with a mother who preferred to sing (as opposed to read) my sister and I to sleep, I guess I missed out on a lot of the significant books that people fall in love with as children. However, I’m not sure I could have fully […]

Napoli v. Leavitt

We’re onto the second round of the BoB, with Donna Jo Napoli choosing between Code Name Verity and Bomb, and Martine Leavitt adjudicating Endangered v. The Fault in Our Stars. Napoli has already been called out for including spoilers to Code Name Verity (while, hilariously, saying “I won’t spoil it for you”) but I don’t […]

The White Bicycle

It’s always disappointing when we miss the opportunity to blow our horn for a really good book — but in this case the ARC arrived too late to review in the Magazine. Fortunately, this year’s Printz committee found it in time to award it an Honor and get it the recognition it deserves. And here’s […]

Starred reviews, May/June Horn Book Magazine

The following books will receive starred reviews in the forthcoming May/June issue of The Horn Book Magazine:   Crankee Doodle; by Tom Angleberger; illus. by Cece Bell (Clarion). Picture a Tree; written and illustrated by Barbara Reid (Whitman). That is NOT a Good Idea!; written and illustrated by by Mo Willems (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins). Bo at Ballard Creek; by Kirkpatrick […]

Dragon Brush app review

“Quite a long time ago, in a small village in ancient China, there lived a boy named Bing-Wen.” So begins Dragon Brush (Small Planet Digital, 2012), an interactive picture book app created by John Solimine and Andy Hullinger. Based on a Chinese folktale (no sources are given), the story follows a young rabbit artist, Bing-Wen, […]

Murdoch v. Lu and First Round Win

I like the way Marie Lu (Seraphina v. Moonbird) and Catherine Gilbert Murdock (No Crystal Stair v. The One and Only Ivan) each find much in common between their contenders. (Especially Lu’s observation about the relationship between birds and dragons.) But where you might think that qualities in common might facilitate comparison, neither of these […]

Different Drums: Border Crossing

The Horn Book Magazine asked Mitali Perkins, “What’s the strangest children’s book you’ve ever enjoyed?” At first glance, there’s absolutely no compelling reason why a young immigrant from India would choose Hans Brinker, or, The Silver Skates: A Story of Life in Holland by Mary Mapes Dodge as a favorite read. And yet I did. […]

Five Questions for Dr. Robert Needlman of Reach Out and Read

It was exciting to realize that emergent literacy was a field that was not spoken of at all in the pediatric literature. Imagine that! A whole area of crucial child development which doctors seemed utterly unaware of. It was an opportunity that could not be passed up.