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Archives for December 2015

Christmas books for little ones

Need a last-minute stocking stuffer? Just hoping for something to occupy kids (or wear them out) while waiting for Santa to show tonight? Here are some cute choices for sharing with little ones. Author Christianne Jones and illustrator Emma Randall’s board book Santa Shimmy (Picture Window, August 2015) stars a Bink-lookalike demonstrating the “Santa shimmy”: […]

Hermione, headcanons, and kindred spirits

Recently, the two-part what-happens-next-in-the-Wizarding-World play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child announced three key cast members: Jamie Parker as adult Harry, Paul Thornley as adult Ron, and Noma Dumezweni as adult Hermione. Congratulations to them all, and I hope the plays are as good as the books, and I really hope they make it to […]

Merry Christmas darlings

Winding things down here for the year, I’d like to wish readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, hoping there is plenty of candy in your immediate future. And if candy is not your thing, Katie also has a host of recommendations of food favorites from children’s books. And do not forget Laura’s gingerbread! […]

Munchings and crunchings: food in books

I’ve been thinking a lot about food in books since reading Jess Zimmerman’s fabulous article “C.S. Lewis’ Greatest Fiction: Convincing American Kids That They Would Like Turkish Delight”: “It was like looking into Harry Potter’s Mirror of Erised, but for desserts: when you thought of a treat worth betraying your family for, what did you […]

Two books about emotions

Normally our post title is the book’s title, but both of these together would be way too long: When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt by Molly Bang and I Used to Be Afraid by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. Both illustrators have won Caldecott honors in the past, but never the actual Medal. Could this be […]

Review of Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and 
Survivors in World War II Denmark

Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and 
Survivors in World War II Denmark by Deborah Hopkinson Middle School   Scholastic   339 pp. 9/15   978-0-545-59220-8     $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-545-59222-2   $17.99 When Germany invaded Denmark in April 1940, the Nazis believed their small neighbor to the north would be a pushover. The Germans were partially right: […]

Marieke Nijkamp 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 Marieke Nijkamp’s first novel, This Is Where It Ends, is unfortunately timely, telling, through multiple points of view, of a young shooter who holds an entire school hostage for one […]

We wish you a merry Bookmas!

Last year I pulled together a few bookish gifts we were drooling over — here are some literary presents we’re giving (and maybe, hopefully getting) this holiday season. Shoshana I’m only actually giving this to one person, but I find myself recommending It’s Only Stanley to everyone who asks for a picture book recommendation. It […]

What Can Data Tell Us?: An Agent’s Thoughts on the 2015 Nielsen Children’s Book Summit

A few years ago, while on a trip to Paris, I met the great sports writer Simon Kuper for coffee. The author of the revolutionary book Soccernomics, a kind of Moneyball for soccer, Kuper and his co-author Stefan Szymanski had been using data analysis to skewer the decision-making of big soccer clubs in novel ways, […]

Are you following Calling Caldecott?

I hope so. If not, here’s the link. At this time of year — from Labor Day to the beginning of the American Library Association’s Midwinter conference — my blog attention is divided because I also write for Calling Caldecott, a mock Caldecott blog. I hope some of you teachers have tried mock Caldecotts in […]