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Halloween is happening!

Seven days and counting… You’ve got the costumes (made the costumes? kudos!); you’ve decorated the house with ghosts and ghouls; and you’ve got the candy (you’ll probably need to restock by next Wednesday night — let’s be real). Now gather some literary treats courtesy of Horn BOO! It’s the Horn Book’s annual round-up of recommended […]

Listen to kidlitwomen*

“We should be starting [to talk with kids about sexual harassment] before we think it’s going to happen rather than after.”  —Corey Ann Haydu, from the kidlitwomen* podcast, episode #25 I love the kidlitwomen* podcast, and this week’s episodes (#24 On Writing, Sexual Harassment and Being an Example and #25 Conversation with Corey Ann Haydu) […]

On Jessica Angotti’s “Committing the Crime Without Doing the Time” (from 2010)

“Based on my observations, it seems children find a loophole. Straddling reality and fantasy allows them to keep one foot in the story, dancing all night and getting into trouble, and the other one out, avoiding time-outs or bed without dinner. This hokey-pokey stance gives young readers the best of both worlds; in for the […]

On Madelyn Travis’s “Thank Heavens for Hugo, or When Size Matters” (from 2011)

In “Thank Heavens for Hugo, or When Size Matters,” children’s literature scholar Madelyn Travis wrote about her efforts to encourage her then-seven-year-old son to “love reading” and her worry that “if he doesn’t, he will miss out on one of life’s great joys.” Lordy, do I get it. Though my kids were toddlers when I […]

When life gives you The Lemonade War

What do you do when life (or your second-grade teacher*) gives you Jacqueline Davies’s The Lemonade War? If you don’t have lemonade, you grab an open bottle of grape juice from the fridge and half-empty bag of Goldfish crackers from the cupboard and wait for the customers to line up. To my surprise, they did! […]

Review of The Truth About Bears; The Truth About Dolphins; and The Truth About Hippos

The Truth About Bears by Maxwell Eaton III; 

illus. by the author Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    32 pp. 2/18    978-1-62672-666-6    $15.99 The Truth About Dolphins by Maxwell Eaton III; 

illus. by the author Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    32 pp. 5/18    978-1-62672-668-0    $15.99 The Truth About Hippos by Maxwell Eaton III; 

illus. by the author Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    […]

The opposite of “easy”

We’ve passed the early reading stage in my house, but I love the Magazine’s new column on books for beginning readers, which declares that we are in an “easy reader renaissance.” I can see why. Books for kids learning to read are being published in all shapes, sizes, and formats, from the traditional I Can […]

On Rising

Fifty years ago today — April 4, 1968 — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Andrea Davis Pinkney’s transcendent Martin Rising: Requiem for a King (Scholastic, 2018), brilliantly illustrated by her husband, Brian Pinkney, honors the civil rights icon’s life and work by shining light on his death. Roger calls the […]

Review of Pup and Bear

Pup and Bear by Kate Banks; illus. by Naoko Stoop Preschool, Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp. 10/17    978-0-399-55409-4    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55410-0    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-55411-7    $10.99 A comforting jacket illustration of a wolf pup safely nestled within a large polar bear’s protective embrace signals that this story focuses on a loving, if unconventional, […]

Five questions for Winifred Conkling

In Votes for Women: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot (Algonquin, 12 years and up), Winifred Conkling explores the history of the U.S. suffrage movement, beginning with the Women’s Rights Convention in 1848 and culminating with ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment over seventy years later. She focuses on major figures in the movement […]