Subscribe to The Horn Book
Susan Dove Lempke

About Susan Dove Lempke

Susan Dove Lempke is a Horn Book reviewer and director of the Niles Public Library District in Illinois.

Review of The Home Builders

The Home Builders by Varsha Bajaj; illus. by Simona Mulazzani Preschool    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g 2/19    978-0-399-16685-3    $17.99 This 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, / Below […]

Review of Meet Miss Fancy

Meet Miss Fancy by Irene Latham; illus. by John Holyfield Primary    Putnam    32 pp.    g 1/19    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 Miss […]

Review of The Mad Wolf’s Daughter audiobook

The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras; read by Joshua Manning Intermediate, Middle School    Listening Library    Rev. 7/18 6 CDs    6.62 hrs.    978-0-525-53134-0    $50.00 Drest is determined to free her captured older brothers and father from Faintree Castle, where they soon will be hanged, and she means to use the young knight she rescued to […]

Review of Thank You, Omu!

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora; illus. by the author Primary    Little, Brown    32 pp. 10/18    978-0-316-43124-8    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-43123-1    $9.99 Grandmotherly Omu (a brief note on the front endpapers explains that the name is pronounced “AH-moo” and is “the Igbo term for ‘queen’”) seasons and stirs her “thick red stew in a big […]

Review of The Night Diary audiobook

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani; read by Priya Ayyar Intermediate, Middle School    Listening Library    Rev. 7/18 5 CDs    5.92 hrs.    978-0-525-53044-2    $45.00 Twelve-year-old Nisha, whose mother was Muslim and father is Hindu, begins writing a diary in the form of letters to her mother, who died when Nisha and her twin Amil were born. […]

Review of The Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightful Poems

The Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightful Poems by Calef Brown; illus. by the author Primary    Carolrhoda    32 pp. 8/18    978-1-5124-2661-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5415-2468-2    $17.99 Brown (Soup for Breakfast, rev. 3/09; Hypnotize a Tiger, rev. 3/15) gives his quirky, funny verse and art a spooky twist here with seventeen poems celebrating ghosts, witches, demons, and even […]

Review of Tess of the Road audiobook

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman; read by Katharine McEwan High School    Listening Library    Rev. 3/18 13 CDs    16.27 hrs.    978-1-5247-7955-9    $70.00 Narrated by McEwan in a crisply enunciated English accent, this fantasy (a companion to Hartman’s Seraphina, rev. 7/12) follows the anarchic Tess as the seventeen-year-old misfit almost ruins her twin sister’s wedding, […]

Review of Vivid: Poems & Notes About Color

Vivid: Poems & Notes About Color by Julie Paschkis; illus. by the author Primary    Godwin/Holt    32 pp. 7/18    978-1-250-12229-2    $17.99 Fourteen color poems pair with vibrant gouache illustrations, beginning with the color yellow: “Loudly, rowdy / daffodils yell hello. / Hot yellow.” The poem, set inside a bright sun, blazes above butterflies, birds, flowers, and a bee, […]

Review of The Journey of Little Charlie audiobook

The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis; read by Michael Crouch Intermediate, Middle School    Listening Library Rev. 3/18    5 CDs    5.23 hrs.    978-0-8041-6802-1    $45.00 Twelve-year-old narrator “Little Charlie” Bobo is already the size of a man, and when his South Carolina sharecropper father dies in a freak accident, the sheriff suspects Charlie. Charlie […]

Review of Dear Substitute

Dear Substitute by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick; illus. by Chris Raschka Primary    Disney-Hyperion    40 pp. 6/18    978-1-4847-5022-3    $17.99 With 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, / Wow. […]