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Archives for March 2015

Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Mary-Ellen O’Keefe’s Word-Speaking Diet

[As an experiment last fall, I invited self-publishers to submit their best new titles for review. About a dozen heeded the call, and I am reviewing their books in this space.] Mary-Ellen O’Keefe’s Word-Speaking Diet; written by Tom Neely; illustrated by Sharad Kumar. Tom Neely, 2014. 36pp. ISBN 978-1502-44425-7. Paper ed. $9.97. Mary-Ellen has always been a […]

Field Notes: “This Is Too Much!” Why Verse Novels Work for Reluctant Readers

Novels in verse have earned their place in the mainstream of children’s and young adult literature — Exhibit A: Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover winning the Newbery Medal — and this is good news for reluctant readers, especially reluctant middle-grade and middle-school readers. Compared to a conventional novel, a novel in verse has perhaps half the […]

Review of Use Your Words, Sophie!

Use Your Words, Sophie! by Rosemary Wells; illus. by the author Preschool   Viking   24 pp. 3/15   978-0-670-01663-1   $16.99   g Mouse-child Sophie uses lots of words. She welcomes her new baby sister home from the hospital in Jellyfish language (“Jubbabubba”); she growls that she’s “too big for naps” in Hyena language (“Grabvjkloz!”). But her distracted parents […]

Join some mock award discussions

Hello, Calling Caldecott readers. I want to alert you to a post that just went up in Lolly’s Classroom. My students will be holding mock award sessions during our last class on April 9. Come help them discuss these books here. Since there are nearly 30 students, we have four groups: two Caldecott committees, one […]

Mock book awards | Class #5, 2015

This year, most of our last class meeting in Children’s Lit will be devoted to mock book awards. Each student selected a committee to join (Caldecott for picture books, Geisel for easy readers, or Sibert for information books) and chose one or two eligible books published in 2014 to nominate and present to his or […]

Week in Review, March 23rd-27th

This week on hbook.com… Pam Muñoz Ryan Talks with Roger March 2015 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book: trailblazing women, Earth Day 2015, National Poetry Month, folklore from around the world, and sporting life Not on our site, but worth a read: Elizabeth Wein invokes Roger in her BoB decision Reviews of the […]

Folklore and poetry | Class #5, 2015

For our class on April 2, we are reading four books and one article. I like combining these two genres because both need to be read aloud in order to really appreciate them. Folklore has to have a strong voice, as it comes from an oral tradition where storytellers have individual styles, just as today’s […]

Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile | Class #5, 2015

There are so many stand-alone folktale picture books that it’s hard to choose just one for us to read together. But I’ve used this one for several years because of its humor, voice, and authenticity. Interestingly, it also represents two story types: noodleheads (heroes or heroins who are a bit scatterbrained) and tricksters (a small […]

Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal | Class #5, 2015

One of the fascinating and mysterious things about folklore is that the same story types appear all over the world. Here’s a single picture book that tells a Cinderella-type story as found in several different cultures. I think children would need to first be familiar with a single, cohesive version of this story in order […]

Poetrees | Class #5, 2015

As you know if you’ve read Susan Lempke’s article, there are lots and lots of books with poems about a particular subject — enough to read one every day of the school year. As she says, some work better than others as poems. What do you think of this one? Florian has several volumes of […]