Cynthia K. Ritter

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From the Editor - September 2020

The lyric “You can’t live with ’em, you can’t live without ’em” from The Muppet Movie got stuck in my head last week as I was working on our siblings section for this month’s Notes. Perhaps it was my subconscious’s way of telling me something (though my older sister and...

I spy with my Warby Parker glasses...

(Photo: Warby Parker Boston Seaport) ...original art by author/illustrator Maira Kalman! The other weekend I needed to get my Welty (Eastern Bluebird Fade) glasses adjusted and ended up at Warby Parker's Boston Seaport location, only to discover the New Yorker (and Horn Book Guide!) cover artist's original paintings gracing the...

Five questions for Ryan T. Higgins

In young dino Penelope Rex’s picture-book debut, she learned that We Don’t Eat Our Classmates. Now the pony-loving T. rex is back in Ryan T. Higgins’s We Will Rock Our Classmates (Disney-Hyperion, 4–7 years). Readers discover her equally passionate love of rock ’n’ roll when she signs up for the...

Review of Swing

Swing by Michael Hall; illus. by the author Preschool    Greenwillow    40 pp.    g 5/20    978-0-06-286617-2    $17.99 The title spread introduces a school — a place of learning and growth — where outside the classroom window a swing set stands empty and waiting. A letter L sits alone on one of...

Review of Echo Mountain

Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk Intermediate, Middle School    Dutton    359 pp.    g 4/20    978-0-525-55556-8    $17.99 Since the Great Depression forced twelve-year-old Ellie’s family to move from town up to Echo Mountain, she hasn’t known how to interact with her mother and older sister; they miss their former life and blame...

Books beyond buildings: Support your local bookstore and library!

For book lovers everywhere — and particularly parents across the country trying to homeschool their children right now — the services of libraries and bookstores are essential. But this pandemic has left these institutions extremely vulnerable, and they need our support now more than ever. Back in February, when we...

Review of Hike

Hike by Pete Oswald; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.    g 3/20    978-1-5362-0157-4    $17.99 A new day dawns as a father wakes his child so they can head out from their city home into the country to go on a daylong hike. They see all sorts of...

Review of On Wings of Words: The Extraordinary Life of Emily Dickinson

On Wings of Words: The Extraordinary Life of Emily Dickinson by Jennifer Berne; illus. by Becca Stadtlander Primary, Intermediate    Chronicle    48 pp. 2/20    978-1-4521-4297-5    $18.99 Berne’s picture-book biography is a lyrical appreciation of Dickinson’s skill with words, painting a vivid picture of the poet’s special abilities (“With the power of...

50th anniversary of Earth Day

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day -- a momentous occasion. This year's theme is Climate Action because "climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable." While the worldwide pandemic has in some ways meant we've been...

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