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Archives for February 2016

Peter Dickinson, 1927-2015

One-of-a-kind British writer Peter Dickinson died in December at age eighty-eight. His work cannot be easily categorized: a prolific author, he wrote everything from adult detective novels to speculative YA science fiction to heart-stopping adventures to intriguing almost-fantasies. The protagonists in his work for children range from an American-missionary boy who finds himself trekking through […]

Review of Our Moon: New Discoveries About 
Earth’s Closest Companion

Our Moon: New Discoveries About 
Earth’s Closest Companion by Elaine Scott Intermediate   Clarion   72 pp. 2/16   978-0-547-48394-8   $18.99   g This deep dive into the science of the moon includes explanations of its formation and composition, as well as details about the all-important Apollo missions (1963–1972) and the latest in lunar exploration. Scott begins with a […]

“Winners, Losers, and Something in Between” awards panel recap

What makes a book award-worthy? Who decides, and how? These questions were the focus of “Winners, Losers, and Something in Between: An Inside Look at Book Awards,” a panel sponsored by Children’s Books Boston that met at Simmons College on Tuesday. The panelists and moderator had years of experience choosing book award winners among them. […]

A Second Look: The Long Life of a Mockingbird

To make a Tequila Mockingbird, chill your martini glass and cocktail shaker in the freezer. After half an hour, remove the shaker,  throw in a handful of ice, one and a half ounces of tequila, three quarters of an ounce creme de menthe, and the juice of one lime. Shake vigorously, pour into a chilled […]

Illustrated books | Class #5, 2016

This week’s class (March 1, 2016) focuses on visual literacy: pictures in young adult literature, in works of both fiction and nonfiction. The prompts below address the role of these books in the classroom; you might also respond to the interplay of text and pictures (or wordlessness), or to whatever engages you most about these […]

Two picture books | Class #5, 2016

     The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Scholastic, 2007) The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sís  (Farrar, 2007) Though not the typical purview of adolescents, sophisticated picture books such as these offer rich rewards for readers/viewers with an experienced eye. Consider prior knowledge older students can bring to these works and connections […]

Three graphic novels | Class #5, 2016

    Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang (First Second, 2013) The One Summer by Mariko Tamiki and Jillian Tamaki (First Second 2014) While teens have been devouring graphic novels, or comics (as Gene Luen Yang calls all such works) for years, they are also enjoying a surge of interest and attention from critics and […]

Review of Ballet Cat: Dance! Dance! Underpants!

Ballet Cat: Dance! Dance! Underpants! by Bob Shea; illus. by the author Primary   Disney-Hyperion   56 pp. 2/16   978-1-4847-1379-2   $9.99 Dance diva Ballet Cat returns for her second early-reader performance (Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret, rev. 7/15), and once again she’s paired with a reluctant partner/friend. Butter Bear likes dancing but draws the line at […]

Review of Snappsy the Alligator: Did Not Ask to Be in This Book!

Snappsy the Alligator: Did Not Ask to Be in This Book! by Julie Falatko; illus. by Tim Miller Primary   Viking   40 pp. 2/16   978-0-451-46945-8   $16.99   g The omniscient narration begins normally enough: “Snappsy the alligator wasn’t feeling like himself.” After a bit more in this vein, Snappsy turns to the reader: “This is terrible!…Why is […]

Week in Review, February 15th-19th: Black History Month Week 3

This week on hbook.com… Black History Month For Black History Month, we’ve selected articles by and/or about African American children’s book luminaries — one a day throughout February, with a roundup on Fridays. This week’s selections: “Who Can Tell My Story” and “Dream Keepers” (2015 Coretta Scott King Author Award Acceptance) by Jacqueline Woodson three […]