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Archives for February 2014

Roxie’s Doors app review

“Lift the flaps and step through doors into wonderful worlds that you can explore. Open the door to a fantasy — imagination is your key!” Welcome to Roxie’s Doors (OCG Studios and Roxie Munro, 2011), an interactive lift-the-flap search-and-find app based on author/illustrator Roxie Munro’s 2004 picture book Doors. The rhyming text (with optional narration […]

Books for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2014

In Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls, Lia, an anorexic and cutter, learns that her estranged friend Cassie was found dead in a motel room — after leaving Lia thirty-three messages. Cassie’s death tips the already fragile Lia into a vortex of self-destruction. Anderson conveys Lia’s illness vividly through her dark, fantastic thoughts. This stream-of-consciousness, first-person, present-tense […]

Review of Why We Took the Car

Why We Took the Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf; trans. from the German by Tim Mohr Middle School, High School    Levine/Scholastic    250 pp. 1/14    978-0-545-48180-9    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-545-58636-8    $17.99 Two teens abandon their lackluster lives and hit the Autobahn in this audacious tragicomedy. Mike Klingenberg, boring and unpopular, lives a life of quiet desperation […]

Winter crafts; or, know your audience

It’s not unusual for the Horn Book to receive submissions from adult publishers, and we recently opened a box from Lark, an imprint of Sterling Publishing (whose children’s books we do review). Lark books are crafts books – beautifully produced, sturdy how-to paperbacks about sewing, crocheting, jewelry-making, flower-arranging, etc. Pretty Quilled Cards: 25+ Creative Designs […]

My sister AND my daughter

Over on child_lit, Cheryl Klein has been asking for titles of books with big reveals, the ones with a surprise that make you rethink the whole thing. Like Gone Girl, The Thief, and most of Robert Cormier. I contributed Gene Kemp’s The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler, the 1977 Carnegie-winning title about an obstreperous but […]

Just Enjoy the Pictures: Hand-Crafted Versus Digital Art

Raise your hand if you find it challenging to determine the media used for picture book illustrations today. Even before computers, art labeled “mixed media” left readers scratching their heads over how the pictures were rendered. Increasingly challenging in today’s digital world is ascertaining whether picture book art is hand-crafted or computer-assisted. For Caldecott committee […]

Three articles about making picture books

The additional reading for our first class comes from Horn Book Magazine‘s classic 1998 special issue on picture books. After you’ve read them, please come back to this post to comment. And as always, I hope this discussion will include more than just my students! The articles in question are “The Words” by Charlotte Zolotow […]

Mirror by Jeannie Baker

The great children’s literature specialist Rudine Sims Bishop has talked and written about books for children needing to be both windows and mirrors. This book seems to me to be the epitome of that idea. There’s so much to talk about here, so I’m looking forward to what you all have to say about this […]

Where the Wild Things Are

Here’s our very first post for the books my students will be reading this semester. Our first class is Thursday night, Feb. 27, and they’re all supposed to discuss one of the readings for the week in the comments  I am hoping the rest of you will comment and discuss, too, since that would make […]

Horn Book Week in Review, February 17th–21st

This week on hbook.com… Last night was the second Children’s Books Boston event, a panel discussion of the 2014 ALA Award winners called “Why Did THAT Book Win?” Panel moderator Roger Sutton and attendee Cindy Ritter recap the panel. From the March/April 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Illustration: “Pen, Ink, Watercolor, […]