Katie Bircher

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New year, new possibilities

Starting a new school year—and especially starting school, period—can be nerve-wracking, but it also presents opportunities for new friendships and experiences. These lighthearted picture books validate first-day worries while also celebrating this significant moment.    In The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, vignettes follow a boy through his first day of big-kid school. Dubbed the "King of Kindergarten" by his mother, the...

Week in Review, August 19th - 23rd

This week on hbook.com...   Reviews of the Week: Picture Book: Cyril and Pat by Emily Gravett Fiction: Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers by Celia C. Pérez Nonfiction: Hummingbird by Nicola Davies; illus. by Jane Ray Audiobook: Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary Schmidt; read by Christopher...

"First Day of School"

"First Day of School" was the subject line of an email I got from my dad today. Given that my younger brother and I have been out of school for *cough cough* years, this could only mean...Puppy Preschool! My parents' four-month-old dachshund puppy, Lilly, started "school" yesterday. Here she is,...

Week in Review, August 12th - 16th

This week on hbook.com... August Notes from the Horn Book newsletter: 5Q for George Takei on They Called Us Enemy, more books about Japanese internment, picture books about things that go, nonfiction about amazing animals August Back-to-School edition of The Horn Book Herald: 5Q for Celia C. Pérez on Strange...

Amazing animals

These approachable science books introduce primary and intermediate readers to two extraordinary animals, one species' survival story, and the everyday dynamics between predator and prey. Inky's Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home tells how a real octopus was caught in a Pacific Ocean lobster trap...

Fueling imagination

These recent picture books for preschool- and primary-age children celebrate "things that go" as a vehicle (heh) for daydreaming and imaginative play. It's "a fine evening for a drive," and Annie, protagonist of Vroom! by Barbara McClintock, has a plan — and a big imagination. In her sleek racing car, Annie...

Week in Review, July 29th–August 2nd

This week on hbook.com...   Starred reviews coming in the September/October 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine Obituary: Toni Morrison (1931-2019) From the May/June 2019 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: The CSK Book Awards at 50: Lift Every Voice: "Side B" by Michele Wood   Reviews of the Week:...

Week in Review, July 29th–August 2nd

This week on hbook.com... Preview the September/October 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine   From the May/June 2019 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: The CSK Book Awards at 50: "Lift Every Voice: Thank You Gusty" by Floyd Cooper   Reviews of the Week: Picture Book: Puppy Truck by Brian...

Happy birthday, Harry!

Happy birthday to one of kidlit's most beloved and backlashed big-name characters, Harry Potter! (He'd be thirty-nine this year. Holy hippogriff.) The Horn Book has had a lot to say — good, bad, and damn, these books are long — about The Boy Who Lived over the years. Here's a...

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