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Archives for December 2016

Henry & Leo

Those of us who look at lots and lots of new children’s books see a lot of familiar plots and art styles that resemble one classic or another in some way. Whenever I see a book that is fresh and unlike anything I’ve seen before, I celebrate. That’s all very well, but I need to remember […]

Fallen London app review

“Thirty years ago, London was stolen by bats. Now, Hell is close and immortality is cheap, but the screaming has largely stopped…” In Fallen London (Failbetter Games, 2015; iOS and Android), I — a shadowy being of unspecified gender, just escaped from prison — stalk the streets of a Hell-adjacent Victorian London with an Alluring Companion for a cohort […]

On “On the Rights of Reading and Girls and Boys” (from March 2012)

“Laura and Mary may be the heroines, but if you want to stick to stereotypes, has anyone noticed how much of this book is about the technical construction of homes and barns and icehouses or how many pages are devoted to guns and hunting and defending oneself?” Hilary Rappaport writes passionately about not limiting kids’ […]

Review of Comics Confidential: Thirteen Graphic Novelists Talk Story, Craft, and Life Outside the Box

Comics Confidential: Thirteen Graphic Novelists Talk Story, Craft, and Life Outside the Box compiled and edited by Leonard S. Marcus Middle School, High School    Candlewick    176 pp. 9/16    978-0-7636-5938-7    $24.99 A foreword by David Small and Marcus’s brief outline of the history of comics introduce the book. Marcus (The Wand in the Word: Conversations with […]

Leave Me Alone!

Leave Me Alone! has everything necessary for a great picture book: a frustrated main character, epic adventure, and derpy goats. A book with derpy yarn-eating goats may be being considered for the Caldecott Medal, and I’m pretty thrilled about it. This is cartoonist Vera Brosgol’s first picture book, and though I’ve heard great things about […]

Review of The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan High School    Knopf    217 pp. 10/16    978-0-399-55380-6    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55381-3    $20.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-399-55382-0    $10.99 It’s been a year since the two teens met and fell in love in New York City (Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, rev. 1/11), […]

Upcoming posts

Class is over, the January magazine has printed, and it’s pretty slow here at the Horn Book office. But what should be a lovely empty schedule ideal for blog posting is being being filled with lots of important tasks that have been on the back burner and need to be done in 2016. This is […]

Ho, ho, LEGO

It’s my favorite time of year: time for the LEGOs to come out at my house. Well, let’s be honest, some of them are out all year. But I did just add the new holiday train set to my collection to run under my Christmas tree and, boy, do I love it. It’s a long-standing […]

Auggie and Her, Jess’s Dad and Me

Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia was one of the first books to make me cry. I was in fourth grade when I read it, and Leslie’s death wrecked me. I wept at its suddenness, at the shock of a child’s death, and at the plain wrongness of it all while my heart ached for Leslie’s […]

Review of A Hanukkah with Mazel

A Hanukkah with Mazel by Joel Edward Stein; illus. by Elisa Vavouri Primary    Kar-Ben    32 pp. 9/16    978-1-4677-8171-8    $17.99 Paper ed.  978-1-4677-8176-3    $7.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-5124-0936-9    $6.99 Artist Misha doesn’t have much, but he has enough milk to share with the cat he finds in his barn, whom he names Mazel (“luck”). He can’t […]