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Review of People Share with People

People Share with People by Lisa Wheeler; illus. by Molly Idle Preschool    Atheneum    40 pp. 9/19    978-1-5344-2559-0    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2560-6    $10.99 The team behind People Don’t Bite People (rev. 3/18) presents another useful and engaging toddler-skills picture-book primer in rhyme, with child-friendly examples and Idle’s dynamic, appealing illustrations to...

Review of At the Mountain’s Base

At the Mountain’s Base by Traci Sorell; illus. by Weshoyot Alvitre Preschool, Primary    Kokila/Penguin    32 pp.    g 9/19    978-0-7352-3060-6    $17.99 In a cabin at the base of a mountain, multiple generations of Cherokee women await the return of their daughter/sister/mother/granddaughter, who is piloting a plane during wartime somewhere far away....

Review of The King of Kindergarten

The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes; illus. by Vanessa Brantley-Newton Preschool    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g 7/19    978-1-5247-4074-0    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-4075-7    $10.99 In a series of vignettes, Barnes (Crown, rev. 11/17) follows a boy on his first day of big-kid school. Dubbed the “King of Kindergarten” by his mother,...

Review of Ultrabot's First Playdate

Ultrabot’s First Playdate by Josh Schneider; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Clarion    32 pp.    g 7/19    978-1-328-49013-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-06358-2    $12.99 At first glance, this doesn’t look like a what-to-expect-when-hosting-a-playdate story. The first-timer here is a massive red robot that “lived with its professor in a little top-secret...

Review of Cyril and Pat

Cyril and Pat by Emily Gravett; illus. by the author Preschool    Simon    32 pp. 5/19    978-1-5344-3950-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-3951-1    $10.99 Rhyming text and animated pencil, acrylic ink, and watercolor illustrations set the stage for a blossoming friendship between Cyril, the only squirrel in Lake Park, and Pat. Pat looks...

Review of Spot & Dot

Spot & Dot by Henry Cole; illus. by the author Primary    Little Simon    32 pp. 8/19    978-1-5344-2555-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2556-9    $10.99 We first met cat Spot and Spot’s boy owner in Spot, the Cat (rev. 3/16). Here Cole adds two new characters: dog Dot (like Spot, white with one...

Review of Daniel's Good Day

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Daniel’s Good Day by Micha Archer; illus. by the author Preschool    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g 5/19    978-0-399-54672-3    $16.99 “What makes a good day for you?” As young Daniel (of Daniel Finds a Poem) walks through his busy city neighborhood (where he “knows many people”) to spend the day with his...

Review of Puppy Truck

Puppy Truck by Brian Pinkney; illus. by the author Preschool    Atheneum    40 pp. 6/19    978-1-5344-2687-0    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2688-7    $10.99 What’s a kid to do when he wants a puppy but receives a toy truck instead? Carter cheerfully and enterprisingly makes the best of it by pretending (or is he?)...

Review of What Kind of Car Does a T. Rex Drive?

What Kind of Car Does a T. Rex Drive? by Mark Lee; illus. by Brian Biggs Preschool, Primary    Putnam    40 pp.    g 5/19    978-1-5247-4123-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-4124-2    $10.99 Used-car salesman Uncle Otto, desperate to make a sale, vows to “sell a car to anyone — or anything — that...

Review of If I Was the Sunshine

If I Was the Sunshine by Julie Fogliano; illus. by Loren Long Preschool    Atheneum    48 pp. 5/19    978-1-4814-7243-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-7244-9    $10.99 Fogliano and Long present a big, handsome picture book with a poetic text and lush full-bleed acrylic illustrations, highlighting the natural world and relationships within it. The...

Review of One Dark Bird

One Dark Bird by Liz Garton Scanlon; illus. by Frann Preston-Gannon Preschool    Beach Lane/Simon    40 pp. 7/19    978-1-5344-0443-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0444-1    $10.99 A small paragraph on the title page defines a murmuration (“a single-seeming mass [of birds] that performs coordinated acrobatic dances in the sky”) before using a counting-book...

Review of When Aidan Became a Brother

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff; illus. by Kaylani Juanita Preschool, Primary    Lee & Low    32 pp.    g 5/19    978-1-62014-837-2    $18.95 This story about anticipating the arrival of a new baby is, at its heart, about the unconditional love all children deserve. The fact that big-brother-to-be Aidan is...

Review of Hello

Helloby Fiona Woodcock; illus. by the authorPreschool    Greenwillow    40 pp.5/19    978-0-06-264456-6    $17.99In Look (rev. 7/18), Woodcock strung together a series of words with double os, more or less one per page, to tell a story of a brother and sister visiting the zoo. In this companion, double ls get the...

Review of Ogilvy

Ogilvyby Deborah Underwood; illus. by T. L. McBethPreschool, Primary    Godwin/Holt    40 pp.5/19    978-1-250-15176-6    $17.99Ogilvy, a wide-eyed, line-drawn bunny, is excited to make friends in a new town. But upon arrival, the rabbit’s sartorial choices are challenged; Ogilvy, clad in a knit article of clothing, is asked: “Is it a sweater...

2019 BGHB Picture Book Award winners extras

Roger Sutton, editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., announced the 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners on May 29th, 2019, at School Library Journal's Day of Dialog in New York City. You can watch the announcement video here and read the press release here. Read reviews of all of...

Review of Moth: An Evolution Story

Moth: An Evolution Storyby Isabel Thomas; illus. by Daniel EgnéusPrimary    Bloomsbury    48 pp.    g6/19    978-1-5476-0020-5    $18.99e-book ed.  978-1-5476-0024-3    $13.29“This is a story of light and dark. Of change and adaptation, of survival and hope.” In a shadowy (pre-industrial) wood, a peppered moth — its “speckled, freckled” wing patterns wonderfully detailed...

Picture Books for Father's Day 2019

Father's Day is this Sunday, and if you are celebrating, here are some picture books to make Dad's or Granddad's day. Also be sure not to miss one of our faves of the year, My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, illustrated by Zeke Peña, and their Five Questions...

Review of The Fisherman & the Whale

The Fisherman & the Whaleby Jessica Lanan; illus. by the authorPrimary    Simon    48 pp.5/19    978-1-5344-1574-4    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-5344-1575-1    $10.99In this dramatic wordless tale, a commercial fisherman and what appears to be his son collect fish in the large net thrown from their boat. They sail on — that is, until...

Happy Anniversary: Stevie

Stevie by John Steptoe (1950–1989) was published by Life magazine and then by Harper & Row in 1969. It celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2019.I locate the beginning of what I’ve come to call #blackboylit — literature for children and young adults that centers the experiences of boys of African...

Review of Bear Came Along

Bear Came Alongby Richard T. Morris; illus. by LeUyen PhamPreschool    Little, Brown    40 pp.6/19    978-0-316-46447-5    $17.99e-book ed.  978-0-316-46445-1    $9.99This boisterous adventure is a story about discovery, the twists and turns a day can take, and the ways in which friendships can be forged when least expected — all in the...

Reviews of 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Picture Book Award Winner and Honor Books

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Picture Book Winner The Patchwork Bikeby Maxine Beneba Clarke; illus. by Van Thanh RuddPrimary    Candlewick    40 pp.9/18    978-1-5362-0031-7    $15.99A child in an unnamed “village where we live inside our mud-for-walls home” describes the diversions of daily life: “whooping and shrieking and laughing” on the sand hill, exploring the desert, and...

Review of My Papi Has a Motorcycle

My Papi Has a Motorcycleby Isabel Quintero; illus. by Zeke PeñaPrimary    Kokila/Penguin    40 pp.    g5/19    978-0-525-55341-0    $17.99Spanish ed.  978-0-525-55494-3    $17.99Quintero’s picture-book text acts as an evocative love letter to her apá and to the interconnected web of Mexican immigrant working-class people who built her hometown of Corona, California. When Papi...

Review of You Are New

You Are Newby Lucy Knisley; illus. by the authorPreschool    Chronicle    48 pp.3/19    978-1-4521-6156-3    $17.99Knisley chronicled her wedding in her 2016 adult graphic-novel memoir Something New; her latest, Kid Gloves (2019), is about pregnancy; and concurrently she has authored her first picture book — about a newborn baby. In lilting, lighthearted...

Review of B Is for Baby

B Is for Babyby Atinuke; illus. by Angela BrooksbankPreschool    Candlewick    40 pp.3/19    978-1-5362-0166-6    $16.99Atinuke and Brooksbank (Baby Goes to Market) reunite for another tenderly funny slice-of-life story set in an unspecified African village and starring a winsome baby girl, who is dearly loved. This alphabet book sticks with the letter...

Review of Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born

Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Bornby Miranda Paul; illus. by Jason ChinPrimary    Porter/Holiday    32 pp.4/19    978-0-8234-4161-7    $18.99e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4213-3    $18.99A pithy quintain describes the moment a fertilized human egg becomes a two-celled zygote: “Small. / Ball. / The point of a pin. / Then it divides… / Our story begins.” It’s the first...

Review of The Little Guys

The Little Guysby Vera Brosgol; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp.4/19    978-1-62672-442-6    $17.99The “strongest guys in the whole forest” are the Little Guys — small pastel-colored creatures with acorn-cap hats; red, nose-like appendages; and stick arms and legs. Together there is nothing they cannot conquer. For example,...

Review of His Royal Highness, King Baby: A Terrible True Story

His Royal Highness, King Baby: A Terrible True Storyby Sally Lloyd-Jones; illus. by David RobertsPrimary    Candlewick    48 pp.9/17    978-0-7636-9793-8    $16.99“Once upon a time, there was a Happy Family” consisting of a mother, father, daughter (shown with tights on her head simulating long, blonde, princess-y hair), and pet gerbil. Life was...

2019 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Picture Books

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2018–2019 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.For a...

Review of There Are No Bears in This Bakery

There Are No Bears in This Bakeryby Julia Sarcone-Roach; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Knopf    40 pp.1/19    978-0-399-55665-4    $17.99Library ed.  978-0-399-55666-1    $20.99e-book ed.  978-0-399-55667-8    $10.99Sarcone-Roach’s previous bear-centric picture book, The Bear Ate Your Sandwich (rev. 1/15), featured an unreliable offstage narrator, a cover-up, and — spoiler alert — no bears....

Review of Poetree

Poetreeby Shauna LaVoy Reynolds; illus. by Shahrzad MaydaniPrimary    Dial    32 pp.    g3/19    978-0-399-53912-1    $17.99To celebrate the end of winter, young poetry lover Sylvia writes a poem about spring and ties it to a birch tree in the park. The next day her poem is gone; in its place is another...

Review of Carl and the Meaning of Life

Carl and the Meaning of Lifeby Deborah Freedman; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Viking    48 pp.    g4/19    978-0-451-47498-8    $17.99Carl is an earthworm, always moving under the ground, digesting leaves and “turning hard dirt into fluffy soil.” When a field mouse asks him why he does...

Spring into nature

Spring is a season of rebirth, which makes it a great time to discover Mother Nature's many wonders. These new picture books will inspire inquisitive preschoolers-and-up to venture outside and explore.The Home Builders by Varsha Bajaj invites children to observe nature as a variety of creatures busily create homes to...

Review of Home Is a Window

Home Is a Windowby Stephanie Parsley Ledyard; illus. by Chris SasakiPreschool, Primary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp.4/19    978-0-8234-4156-3    $18.99e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4156-3    $18.99Ledyard offers a meditation of sorts on the sense of comfort and belonging that home should evoke, whether it’s a place we know well or a new home to which we’ve...

Review of Another

Anotherby Christian Robinson; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Atheneum    56 pp.3/19    978-1-5344-2167-7    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2168-4    $10.99For his solo picture book debut, Robinson (illustrator of Last Stop on Market Street, rev. 3/15; School’s First Day of School, rev. 3/16; When’s My Birthday?, rev. 9/17; and more) offers a smart, sly, and...

Review of Snowman − Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations

Snowman − Cold = Puddle: Spring Equationsby Laura Purdie Salas; illus. by Micha ArcherPrimary    Charlesbridge    32 pp.2/19    978-1-58089-798-3    $16.99e-book ed.  978-1-63289-643-8    $9.99This whimsical celebration of spring-time features a playful equation poem on every page. Take the titular “snowman – cold = puddle.” It’s a subtraction sentence — minus the usual...

Review of ¡Vamos!: Let's Go to the Market

¡Vamos!: Let’s Go to the Marketby Raúl the Third; color by Elaine BayPrimary    Versify/Houghton    40 pp.    g4/19    978-1-328-55726-1    $14.99e-book ed.  978-0-358-06340-7    $9.99Waking up when the rooster crows is not hard to do if the day ahead includes a trip to the mercado. Rooster Kooky Dooky’s cries (“¡Vamos!”) wake up Little...

Review of The Great Indoors

The Great Indoorsby Julie Falatko; illus. by Ruth ChanPrimary    Disney-Hyperion    40 pp.    g4/19    978-1-368-00083-3    $17.99The tables are turned in this mischievous comedy about the highs and lows of camping. As a camper van full of humans drives away from a house, two bears in the front yard come out of...

Review of Hey, Water!

Hey, Water!by Antoinette Portis; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Porter/Holiday    48 pp.    g3/19    978-0-8234-4155-6    $17.99e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4201-0    $17.99A girl named Zoe explores water in this playful and informative book. Speaking directly to water (“Hey, water! I know you! You’re all around”), Zoe considers the role of water inside a home...

Review of Lubna and Pebble

Lubna and Pebbleby Wendy Meddour; illus. by Daniel EgnéusPrimary    Dial    32 pp.    g3/19    978-0-525-55416-5    $17.99Wide-eyed Lubna befriends a pebble when she and her father arrive by boat at an unspecified refugee settlement she calls “a World of Tents.” She personalizes the small stone by drawing a happy face on it,...

Embracing friendship and community

The following picture books provide models for warmth, friendship, community-building, and inclusivity in ways that very young children can understand and embrace.David Soman's inviting How to Two is a counting book that could also serve as a set of inclusivity instructions. A lone boy plays on a slide (“how to...

Review of Olive & Pekoe: In Four Short Walks

Olive & Pekoe: In Four Short Walksby Jacky Davis; illus. by Giselle PotterPreschool, Primary    Greenwillow    40 pp.3/19    978-0-06-257310-0    $17.99Pekoe is a large yellow puppy with energy and enthusiasm to spare; Olive is a small older dog with a much more subdued (one might even say jaded) outlook on life. Despite...

Review of The Home Builders

The Home Buildersby Varsha Bajaj; illus. by Simona MulazzaniPreschool    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g2/19    978-0-399-16685-3    $17.99This picture book invites children to observe nature for themselves as a variety of creatures busily create their homes: “Do you see the home builders?” The builders work “under the earth, /...

Review of I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon

I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroonby Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul; illus. by Elizabeth ZunonPrimary    Millbrook    40 pp.    g2/19    978-1-5124-4914-3    $19.99e-book ed.  978-1-5415-4380-5    $19.99 Even as a young child Tantoh Nforba loves the rich soils of his native northwestern Cameroon, earning the nickname “Farmer” from his mocking classmates;...

Review of Meet Miss Fancy

Meet Miss Fancyby Irene Latham; illus. by John HolyfieldPrimary    Putnam    32 pp.    g1/19    978-0-399-54668-6    $17.99 Frank (an African American boy who looks to be about ten years old) already loves elephants, with “their flip-flap ears, their tree-stump feet and their swish-swish tails,” so when he hears that a circus elephant named...

Review of Let ’Er Buck!: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion

Let ’Er Buck!: George Fletcher, the People’s Championby Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illus. by Gordon C. JamesPrimary, Intermediate    Carolrhoda    40 pp.    g2/19    978-1-5124-9808-0    $18.99e-book ed.  978-1-5145-4180-1    $18.99Nelson (Bad News for Outlaws, rev. 11/09) returns to the Old West for this engrossing picture-book biography of African American cowboy and bronc buster George...

Review of Undocumented: A Worker's Fight

Undocumented: A Worker’s Fightby Duncan Tonatiuh; illus. by the authorMiddle School, High School    Abrams ComicArts    24 pp. 8/18    978-1-4197-2854-9   $19.99 “You don’t know our names but you’ve seen us.” The accompanying illustration is of Juan, an undocumented immigrant, with one hand raised in a fist and the other holding a megaphone from which...

Picture book love and community

These new picture books model self-love, strength in community, and pride in identity for very young children of color.Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel, illustrated by Shane W. Evans, is an affirmation of self-love for children of color. An exuberant brown-skinned girl recounts many situations in which she puts her...

Review of Hands Up!

Hands Up!by Breanna J. McDaniel; illus. by Shane W. EvansPreschool, Primary    Dial    32 pp.    g1/19    978-0-525-55231-4    $17.99 In this affirmation of self-love for children of color, an exuberant brown-skinned girl recounts many situations in which she puts her “hands up”: playing peek-a-boo as a very young child, then, as she gets...

Review of What Is Given from the Heart

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What Is Given from the Heartby Patricia C. McKissack; illus. by April HarrisonPrimary, Intermediate    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 1/19    978-0-375-83615-2    $17.99Library ed.  978-0-375-93615-9    $20.99e-book ed.  978-0-375-98800-4    $10.99 From the late Patricia McKissack, a story of giving — even when it seems one has nothing to spare. James Otis and his...

Winter Secrets

Winter can seem like a time when there isn’t much going on outside; in fact, the season offers opportunities to see things that are otherwise obscured by the growth and busyness of the other seasons. At our house in winter, for example, we can see through the skeletons of trees...

Review of The Elephant

The Elephantby Jenni Desmond; illus. by the authorPrimary    Enchanted Lion    48 pp.10/18    978-1-59270-264-0    $18.95In this companion to the author-
illustrator’s The Blue Whale and The Polar Bear (rev. 3/17), a brown-skinned boy wearing a red crown introduces readers to one of nature’s endangered wild things: the elephant. In a setup similar...

Review of Found.

Found.by Jeff Newman; illus. by Larry DayPreschool, Primary    Simon    48 pp.11/18    978-1-5344-1006-0    $17.99e-book ed. 978-1-5344-1007-7    $10.99A sense of isolation permeates the opening spreads of this wordless story as a girl gazes out at a rain-drenched city street from an apartment window. She soon spots a little lost dog, and a...

Review of The Stuff of Stars

The Stuff of Starsby Marion Dane Bauer; illus. by Ekua HolmesPrimary    Candlewick    40 pp.9/18    978-0-7636-7883-8    $17.99From darkness, we experience the Big Bang, the birth of the universe, and the emergence of life on Earth. Holmes, known for her striking collage art (Voice of Freedom, rev. 9/15; Out of Wonder, rev....

Review of Chicken Talk

Chicken Talkby Patricia MacLachlan; illus. by Jarrett J. KrosoczkaPreschool, Primary    Tegen/HarperCollins     32 pp.1/19     978-0-06-239864-2     $17.99In this slight but charming tale, a farm family’s chickens discover the power of the written word. (It’s not an original conceit, of course; see earlier exemplars of farm-animal...

Non-snoozy storytimes

Need some inspiration for a new year of storytimes? Learn how to shake things up with Julie Roach's classic tips for reading aloud, then choose one of these lively new picture books and invite participants to vroom, roar, bark, and awoooooooo along.The latest of Kate and Jim McMullan's things-that-go books,...

Review of The Bell Rang

The Bell Rangby James E. Ransome; illus. by the authorPrimary, Intermediate     Dlouhy/Atheneum     40 pp.1/19     978-1-4424-2113-4     $17.99e-book ed. 978-1-4814-7671-3     $10.99“The bell rings, / and no sun in the sky. / Daddy gathers wood. / Mama cooks. / We eat.” Ransome paints a heartbreaking picture of an enslaved family existing within the...

Review of Me and My Fear

Me and My Fearby Francesca Sanna; illus. by the authorPrimary    Nobrow/Flying Eye    32 pp.9/18    978-1-911171-53-9    $17.95This follow-up to The Journey (rev. 3/17), about a refugee family fleeing a war-torn homeland, focuses on the young daughter’s apprehension as she adjusts to life in a new country and a new school. In...

Review of The Little Barbarian

The Little Barbarianby Renato Moriconi; illus. by the authorPreschool    Eerdmans    48 pp.8/18    978-0-8028-5509-1    $17.00The little barbarian strides in, page left. Armed with sword and shield, he mounts his handsome black steed and proceeds through a malevolent world. Spread after spread, he gallops over and under hazards and monsters — a...

Review of Silent Night

Silent Nightillus. by Lara HawthornePrimary    Frances Lincoln    32 pp.    g10/18    978-1-78603-066-5    $15.99 With gouache paintings rendered into collagelike illustrations via Photoshop, Hawthorne's version of the classic Christmas carol notably features Mary, Joseph, and Jesus as a brown-skinned family. The text includes all three verses of John Freeman Young's English translation and...

Review of Kitten and the Night Watchman

Kitten and the Night Watchmanby John Sullivan; illus. by Taeeun YooPreschool     Wiseman/Simon     32 pp.9/18     978-1-4814-6191-7     $17.99e-book ed. 978-1-4814-6192-4     $10.99A night watchman spies a stray kitten one night, and they befriend each other. As the man makes his rounds of the construction site, the kitten accompanies him...

Review of The Wall in the Middle of the Book

The Wall in the Middle of the Bookby Jon Agee; illus. by the authorPreschool     Dial     48 pp.10/18     978-0-525-55545-2     $17.99Unlike Richard Byrne’s This Book Just Ate My Dog! (rev. 1/15), wherein the book’s gutter did service as a chasm to be negotiated by the characters, here it...

Review of All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah

All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkahby Emily Jenkins; illus. by Paul O. ZelinskyPrimary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.9/18    978-0-399-55419-3    $17.99Library ed.  978-0-399-55420-9    $20.99e-book ed.  978-0-399-55421-6    $10.99“When darkness comes, it will be the first night of Hanukkah, 1912.” This original picture book based on Sydney Taylor’s beloved characters serves as a perfect standalone Hanukkah...

Review of The Patchwork Bike

The Patchwork Bikeby Maxine Beneba Clarke; illus. by Van Thanh RuddPrimary    Candlewick    40 pp.9/18    978-1-5362-0031-7    $15.99A child in an unnamed “village where we live inside our mud-for-walls home” describes the diversions of daily life: “whooping and shrieking and laughing” on the sand hill, exploring the desert, and playing atop an...

Review of Fangsgiving

Fangsgivingby Ethan Long; illus. by the authorPrimary    Bloomsbury    32 pp.9/18    978-1-68119-825-5    $16.99e-book ed.  978-1-68119-826-2    $11.89The Fright Club (rev. 9/15) monsters are cooking up a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, from sweet potato casserole to turkey. But what to do when vampire Vladimir’s family shows up unexpectedly? Invite them in — the more...

Noticing nature's cycles

These picture books invite readers to reflect upon the cycles of our environment (i.e., weather patterns, seasons) and to pay close attention to marvels of the natural world.In They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki, a girl considers the wondrousness of the world around her, prompted by the colors she encounters...

Five questions for Traci Sorell and Frané Lessac

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We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge, 5–8 years), is a lushly illustrated, through-the-seasons look at a contemporary Cherokee community's daily life, pausing for celebrations of traditional observances (e.g., Cherokee New Year) and making special note of gratitude.1. "Cherokee people say otsaliheliga to express gratitude....

Review of Dreamers

Dreamersby Yuyi Morales; illus. by the authorPrimary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp.9/18    978-0-8234-4055-9    $18.99e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4125-9    $18.99Spanish ed.  978-0-8234-4258-4    $18.99Two pairs of eyes shine from the cover of Morales’s book — the infant’s eyes brilliant with curiosity, his mother’s gaze pensive. These two “migrantes” arrive on “the other side, / thirsty, in awe, /...

CaldeNOTT

On Saturday, December 1, Horn Book reviewer and all around Great Guy Thom Barthelmess is going to be leading his annual CaldeNOTT Award discussion here at Simmons, sponsored by the Horn Book and the Center for the Study of Children's Literature. The CaldeNOTT, invented by Thom, applies the Caldecott terms and...

Review of We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheligaby Traci Sorell; illus. by Frané LessacPrimary    Charlesbridge    32 pp.9/18    978-1-58089-772-3    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-63289-633-9    $9.99“Cherokee people say otsaliheliga to express gratitude. It is a reminder to celebrate our blessings and reflect on struggles — daily, throughout the year, and across the seasons.” An extended family engages with...

Review of Samurai Scarecrow: A Very Ninja Halloween

Samurai Scarecrow: A Very Ninja Halloweenby Rubin Pingk; illus. by the authorPrimary    Simon    48 pp.7/18    978-1-4814-3059-3    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-4814-3060-9    $10.99In his second holiday-themed adventure (Samurai Santa, rev. 11/15), young ninja Yukio faces a familiar Halloween-night dilemma: how to handle a tagalong sibling. Doting little sis Kashi emulates all of Yukio’s...

Review of Blue

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Blueby Laura Vaccaro Seeger; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp.9/18    978-1-62672-006-4    $17.99Where this inventive author-illustrator explored both the palette and politics of the color green in Green (rev. 3/12), Blue finds her sneaking up on us with a story about loss, even if at first we think...

Review of A Gift from Abuela

A Gift from Abuelaby Cecilia Ruiz; illus. by the authorPrimary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g8/18    978-0-7636-9267-4    $15.99Ruiz elevates a standard tale about the loving bond between a grandmother and granddaughter with historically significant and culturally relevant detail (the book is set in 1980s Mexico City). The beauty of Abuela and Niña’s...

Review of A House That Once Was

A House That Once Wasby Julie Fogliano; illus. by Lane SmithPrimary    Roaring Brook    48 pp.5/18    978-1-62672-314-6    $18.99“Deep in the woods / is a house / just a house / that once was / but now isn’t / a home.” So begins Fogliano’s rhythmic, read-aloud-perfect tale of two children who discover a mysterious abandoned house. As...

Review of We Don't Eat Our Classmates

We Don’t Eat Our Classmatesby Ryan T. Higgins; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Disney-Hyperion    48 pp.6/18    978-1-368-00355-1    $17.99The first day of school is tough enough; imagine you’re a wee Tyrannosaurus rex and it turns out that your classmates are, of all things, human. Penelope Rex does what any nervous dino...

Review of A Parade of Elephants

A Parade of Elephantsby Kevin Henkes; illus. by the authorPreschool    Greenwillow    40 pp.    g9/18    978-0-06-266827-1    $18.99Library ed.  978-0-06-266828-8    $19.89“Look! Elephants! / One, two, three, four, five. / Five elephants. / Marching. / A parade of elephants!” The sturdy walkers, each rendered in a pastel color with a thick brown outline, stay in the same...

Review of The Squirrels' Busy Year

The Squirrels’ Busy Year [A First Science Storybook]by Martin Jenkins; illus. by Richard JonesPreschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g7/18    978-0-7636-9600-9    $16.99A pair of squirrels and other residents of their pond-side community interact through four distinct seasons. In winter, the sleeping squirrels pop out quickly for acorns under the watchful eye...

Review of Quiet

Quietby Tomie dePaola; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Simon    32 pp.10/18    978-1-4814-7754-3    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-4814-7755-0    $10.99A grandfather, a girl, a boy, and their dog out for a walk notice the busyness of the natural world around them: the bees buzz, the birds fly fast, a dragonfly zooms, all “busy as...

Creative concepts

Crafting a fresh concept book is no easy task, but the creators of these new picture books introduce fundamental topics in imaginative ways."Look! Elephants! / One, two, three, four, five…" Five elephants, each rendered in a different pastel color with a thick brown outline, march across the pages of A...

Review of A Home in the Barn

A Home in the Barnby Margaret Wise Brown; illus. by Jerry PinkneyPreschool, Primary    Harper/HarperCollins    32 pp.9/18    978-0-06-623787-9    $17.99This cozy (previously unpublished) story from the late, legendary Margaret Wise Brown opens and closes with the same playful rhyme: “Here is the barn / Hear the wind rattle / Open the door / And see...

Review of Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma

Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemmaby Keith Calabrese; illus. by Juana MedinaPreschool, Primary    Atheneum    40 pp.7/18    978-1-5344-0894-4    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0895-1    $10.99Young Lena is totally prepared, and excited to start kindergarten. She’s not nervous…but her shoes are. Lena enlists her headband (who is “friends with everybody” and “a good listener”)...

Review of The Princess and the Pit Stop

The Princess and the Pit Stopby Tom Angleberger; illus. by Dan SantatPreschool, Primary    Abrams    48 pp.7/18    978-1-4197-2848-8    $16.99With one lap to go in this fast-paced mashup of fairy tale and auto race, the Princess finds herself in last place after a pit stop. Undaunted, she once again takes off around...

Review of Square

Squareby Mac Barnett; illus. by Jon KlassenPrimary    Candlewick    40 pp.    g5/18    978-0-7636-9607-8    $15.99The Barnett-Klassen tag team is back with a companion book to Triangle (rev. 5/17), told through the collaborators’ signature meld of earthy, textured images and witty, thoughtful narrative. Square spends his days pushing square-shaped boulders from the bottom...

Review of Stop, Go, Yes, No!: A Story of Opposites

Stop, Go, Yes, No!: A Story of Oppositesby Mike Twohy; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins   32 pp.    g8/18    978-0-06-246933-5    $17.99The playful and energetic yellow dog from Twohy’s Geisel Honor–winning, alphabet-themed picture book Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! (rev. 1/16) is back to create some more mayhem in this...

Review of Dear Substitute

Dear Substituteby Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick; illus. by Chris RaschkaPrimary    Disney-Hyperion    40 pp.6/18    978-1-4847-5022-3    $17.99With her regular teacher out sick (we glimpse a feverish Mrs. Giordano on the copyright page), a little girl in brown pigtails writes a series of letters throughout her school day, beginning: “Dear Substitute, /...

August 2018 Back-to-School Horn Book Herald: Picture Books

Lena's Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemmaby Keith Calabrese; illus. by Juana MedinaAtheneum     40 pp.7/18     978-1-5344-0894-4     $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0895-1     $10.99Lena isn't nervous to start kindergarten…but her shoes are. Lena enlists her headband (who is "a good listener") to talk to them, and, with fears assuaged and a bit of reverse...

Review of My Hair Is a Garden

My Hair Is a Gardenby Cozbi A. Cabrera; illus. by the authorPrimary    Whitman    32 pp.    g4/18    978-0-8075-0923-4    $16.99MacKenzie, teased yet again for her “always a mess” hair, turns to neighbor Miss Tillie for help. (Her mother — 
presumably the woman with lighter skin and hair shown in one illustration —...

Review of Jerome by Heart

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Jerome by Heartby Thomas Scotto; illus. by Olivier Tallec; trans. from the French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick and Karin SnelsonPrimary    Enchanted Lion    32 pp.4/18    978-1-59270-250-3    $16.95Scotto and Tallec present a bittersweet story of an affectionate bond between two little boys. Raphael is the narrator, Jerome is his friend, and their...

Review of Saffron Ice Cream

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Saffron Ice Creamby Rashin Kheiriyeh; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Levine/Scholastic    40 pp.5/18    978-1-338-15052-0    $17.99Kheiriyeh delivers an entertaining, heartfelt story based on her own childhood memories of family outings to the beach. Young narrator Rashin compares the beach in her birthplace of Iran to the beach in her new home...

Review of They Say Blue

They Say Blueby Jillian Tamaki; illus. by the authorPrimary    Abrams    40 pp.3/18    978-1-4197-2851-8    $17.99A girl considers the wondrousness of the world around her, prompted by the colors she encounters throughout her day. While at the beach, she gazes across the water (“They say the sea is blue…But when I hold...

Review of I Really Want to See You, Grandma

I Really Want to See You, Grandmaby Taro Gomi; illus. by the authorPreschool     Chronicle     40 pp.4/18     978-1-4521-6158-7     $16.99Here is a sweet and funny picture book (first published forty years ago in Japan) about missed connections, determination, and intergenerational devotion. “Yumi’s house is on a hill. It...

Deep blue sea

With activities such as beach trips, aquarium visits, and whale-watching on the agenda, summer is a great time for kids to learn more about our oceans, marine flora and fauna, and deep-water exploration. Here's a handful of new nonfiction picture-book titles to get primary and early-intermediate readers' feet wet.Die-cuts serve...

Summer staycations

These picture books show that summer vacations don't have to be elaborate going-away affairs — with a little imagination and some good friends, they can be a state of mind.In Deborah Underwood's Monster & Mouse Go Camping, outdoor enthusiast Mouse convinces her anxious pal Monster to go camping with her:...

Review of A Big Mooncake for Little Star

A Big Mooncake for Little Starby Grace Lin; illus. by the authorPreschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp.    g8/18    978-0-316-40448-8    $17.99Little Star and her mother bake a mooncake, the sweet treat associated with the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. The ingredients for their super-sized mooncake cover a mammoth table, because these two make...

Review of Niblet & Ralph

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Niblet & Ralphby Zachariah OHora; illus. by the authorPrimary    Dial    40 pp.    g6/18    978-0-7352-2791-0    $17.99Gemma lives with her dad and her cat, Ralph, in an apartment across the hall from Dilla, his mom, and Dilla’s cat, Niblet. Though Gemma and Dilla have not yet met, Ralph and Niblet are fast...

Review of New Shoes

New Shoesby Chris Raschka; illus. by the authorPreschool    Greenwillow    32 pp.5/18    978-0-06-265752-7    $17.99Children are often reminded to look up, not down at their feet while walking. Not so in this picture book that celebrates preschoolers’ close connection to the ground. Raschka illustrates the book from the perspective of a child...

What lies beneath

Pursuant to that Trump biography, over on Facebook Sarah Hamburg told me about a really perceptive article about biographies for young people. "George Washington and Slavery: Going Beyond Picture Books to Teach About Our Flawed Founders,"* written by my erstwhile Child_Lit colleague Ebony Elizabeth Thomas along with James Joshua Coleman...

Review of Goldfish on Vacation

Goldfish on Vacationby Sally Lloyd-Jones; illus. by Leo EspinosaPrimary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g4/18    978-0-385-38611-1    $17.99Library ed.  978-0-385-38612-8    $20.99Three city-dwelling siblings, goldfish owners, feel sad for the derelict, once-magnificent fountain at the end of their street. Then a sign appears on the fountain: “COMING IN TWO WEEKS! CALLING ALL...

Summer lessons

The following new summery picture books for preschoolers and up touch on themes of overcoming fears, making new friends, defining home, and persevering, all in light-and-breezy summertime-friendly ways. For more recommended summertime reads, check out our Summer Reading list. See also our new Five Questions interviews with Julián Is a...

2018 BGHB Picture Book Award winners extras

Horn Book editor in chief Roger Sutton and Boston Globe Foundation president Emily Procknal announced the 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners on May 31st, 2018, via Facebook Live. A winner and two honor books were selected in three categories: Picture Book, Fiction and Poetry, and Nonfiction. You can watch...

Review of The Field

The Fieldby Baptiste Paul; illus. by Jacqueline AlcántaraPrimary    NorthSouth    32 pp.    g3/18    978-0-7358-4312-7    $17.95The place: a verdant Caribbean islandscape. The day’s activity for the community’s children: a pickup game of futbol (soccer). Does it matter that the futbol field is a converted cow pasture? Does it matter that some of...
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