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Archives for October 2013

Visual arts

Bernier-Grand, Carmen T. Picasso: I the King, Yo el rey High school  64 pp  Amazon Illustrated by David Diaz. Free verse poems chronicle the dramatic life of modern art’s pinnacle figure. Rather than glossing over Picasso’s flaws — his womanizing, his self-absorption, etc. — they are Bernier-Grand’s intriguing focus. The poetry is powerful but challenging, […]

Technology innovations, past and present

Carmichael, L. E. Hybrid and Electric Vehicles High schoo  112 pp.  ABDO Farrell, Courtney Methane Energy High school  112 pp.  ABDO Hand, Carol Biomass Energy High school  112 pp.  ABDO Hirsch, Rebecca Hydrogen and Fuel Cells High school  112 pp.  ABDO Innovative Technologies series. These dense books describe energy sources and technologies that can serve […]

Literary biographies

Brown, Monica Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People Gr. K–3  32 pp.  Holt Illustrated by Julie Paschkis. Brown opens with Neftali’s boyhood love of reading, writing, and nature, celebrating the subjects that informed his poetry and his “dreams of peace.” Paschkis’s signature effusions of color and stylized forms are embellished with words — in English, […]

Colonial America

Arato, Rona Story Voyages Through History 1750–1899 Gr. 4–6  96 pp.  Owlkids Illustrated by Ben Shannon. On an American Day series. Nine chronological sections provide snapshots of life in early America. Short fictional narratives are followed by historical information illuminating the issues raised in the tales, from religious freedom to slavery to children’s rights. The […]

Time for a meltdown?

If you’re free and in Boston Wednesday night, I’ll be participating in a panel discussion of the Common Core State Standards for Bookbuilders of Boston. Other panelists include Simmons GSLIS prof Amy Pattee and educational publishing consultant Steve Pekich; the program runs from 6:00-8:00PM at 501 Boylston Street in Copley Square. Bring ID to get […]

Baby Horn BOO! 2013

We’ve recommended lots of Halloween-y picture books, easy readers, chapter books, and YA novels in the last few weeks (see “From the Guide: Slightly Spooky Middle-Grade Tales,” our updated recommended Halloween reading list, and “Horn BOO!“). But what about the board-book crowd? Here are four recent silly and sweet choices for the youngest trick-or-treaters. In […]

Flora and the Flamingo

Here’s a wordless book with flaps from Chronicle Books, which is one of those good publishers outside the mainstream NYC publisher location. Molly Idle’s Flora and the Flamingo keeps things simple with lots and lots of white space and a limited (mostly pink, yellow, and soft black) palette. The plot is simple: girl sees flamingo, girl […]

What Makes a Good YA Urban Novel?

Poverty. Violence. Racism. Gangs. Drugs. Crime. When people think of the inner city, these are the issues that tend to come to mind — the reasons many avoid urban areas altogether and lock their car doors should they happen to take a wrong turn and end up in a “bad” neighborhood. Unfortunately, these are not […]

Meet Millie app review

Children’s storybook apps have all begun to look alike, but MegaPops‘s interactive reading experience Meet Millie (2011) stands alone as the pick of the litter. This first book in the Millie Was Here series chronicles the adventures of a seemingly mild-mannered lap dog — who also just happens to be a hero. The intentionally cliché […]

Cynthia Voigt Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by Cynthia Voigt’s latest book, Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things, is a largely comic Victorian mystery that seems miles away from the tough stories of Dicey Tillerman or the […]