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Cynthia K. Ritter

About Cynthia K. Ritter

Cynthia K. Ritter is associate editor of The Horn Book Guide. She earned a master's degree in children's literature from Simmons College.

Review of A House That Once Was

A House That Once Was by Julie Fogliano; illus. by Lane Smith Primary    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 they […]

Review of Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein and She Made a Monster

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey; illus. by Júlia Sardà Primary    Tundra    56 pp.    g 8/18    978-1-77049-559-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-77049-561-6    $10.99 She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lynn Fulton; illus. by Felicita Sala Primary    Knopf    40 pp.    g 9/18    978-0-525-57960-1    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-525-57961-8    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-525-57962-5    $10.99 […]

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 Parade of Elephants. Counting […]

“Where y’at, Shorty!”

At 5 o’clock on Saturday, I headed down to Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on Boston’s waterfront to see Trombone Shorty’s Voodoo Threauxdown, the thirty-two-year-old’s star-studded new tour to celebrate the 300th anniversary of his hometown, New Orleans. While it was my first time seeing Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews in concert, I was no stranger to […]

The art of deception

The protagonists of the following new YA fantasies all face complex societal structures which force them to hide, lie, or deceive others in some fashion. Along the way, this leads each character to re-examine her or his own identity and prior beliefs…and also makes for compelling reading. Rachel Hartman returns to her fantastical medievalesque world […]

International Sand Sculpting Festival

On Saturday afternoon, I visited the 15th annual International Sand Sculpting Festival at Revere Beach, MA (also known as America’s First Public Beach!). A striking centerpiece paid homage to this year’s theme: “Celebrating Literacy.” Can you name all the kidlit references in this amazing sand creation? And for a bonus round: Can you name the […]

Summer adventures

These four entertaining, summertime-set novels (including one graphic novel) will have readers channeling their inner sleuths to find buried treasure, getting an insider’s look at an (un)orthodox summer camp, revisiting a beloved family one last time, and gaining a deeper appreciation for the little things that can make a family trip so memorable. Author Jeanne […]

May the 4th, 2018

For a Star Wars fan, it’s a great time to work in children’s book reviewing. Look at this recent wealth of riches in the office! Now if only Rey would send us the sacred Jedi texts… Over at the Horn Book Guide, we just finished our Spring 2018 issue (available in pdf hologram near you […]

Opening Day 2018

Batter up! Hear that call! The time has come for one and all To play ball. —Official victory song of the All-American Girls Baseball League, co-written by Lavonne “Pepper” Paire Davis and Nalda “Bird” Phillips It’s Opening Day at Fenway Park! (We can once again hear the helicopters from the Horn Book office.) Our Boston […]

Cuteness overload

Aww! Who doesn’t love a hilarious or heartwarming story of human-animal (or interspecies) friendship? These new books for preschoolers starring unalike best buds fit the bill. A classic friendship story plays out in Amy Hest’s Buster and the Baby as a crawling baby and the family dog play a game of indoor hide-and-seek. Polly Dunbar’s […]