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Welcome to the Horn Book's Family Reading blog, a place devoted to offering children's book recommendations and advice about the whats and whens and whos and hows of sharing books in the home. Find us on Twitter @HornBook and on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheHornBook


Peep show…or how, nevertheless, the Little Red Hen persisted

Spring has sprung around Boston! Daffodils are blooming, birds are singing, and our library is hosting a “Peep Literary Diorama Exhibition.” This year, my family got in on the fun with our own entry. I’m using family and our loosely. I thought my kids would be excited about the idea of making a shoe-box diorama […]

National Siblings Day 2019

Today is National Siblings Day (here is mine; and the picture above is Roger’s brother with his bloopah). Here are some booklists and articles that highlight “siblings doing what siblings do best.” From Notes from the Horn Book: Sassy siblings From Notes from the Horn Book: Sibling rivalry From Notes from the Horn Book: Family […]

Muslim Women’s Day 2019

In honor of Muslim Women’s Day, here is Julie Hakim Azzam’s “Books in the Home” article: “‘Mommy, Do I Have White Skin?’: Skin Color, Family, and Picture Books,” from the November/December 2016 Horn Book Magazine. See below for other ways to celebrate and amplify Muslim Women’s voices during Women’s History Month — and all year […]

“Something’s happening at the library!” in Portland, Maine

I was lucky enough to go on a moms’-overnight to Portland, Maine (with one of the travelers being this wonderful Horn Book contributor). Our hotel, which once housed the Portland Press Herald newspaper office and printing press (so cool!), featured newspaper-headline wallpaper; decorative typewriters everywhere; and printer rollers in the elevator. The bar menus were repurposed […]

It’s a bookend! It’s a snowball flinger!

Stop, you’re both right! #WinterInNewEngland #LibraryKids

Encouraging a natural critic

I’ve been writing reviews for The Horn Book Guide since 2005, long before my daughter was born in 2011. When I first started, the reviews were a hypothetical glimpse into what I thought would appeal to children. I was in and out of classrooms during those early years, sometimes sharing the books I reviewed with […]

“The Truth of Capten Underpants!” (More fanfiction)

It’s February vacation week in Massachusetts — hang on — didn’t we just have a winter break? Why, yes, we did: Winter Break: The Aftermath. Elissa’s post inspired me to pull out some of my favorite comics by one of my favorite comic creators, my nine-year-old son. His Captain Underpants–inspired fan art has been voluminous […]

A big place to run and play

My husband recently took a picture of me reading to our five-year-old granddaughter. He takes such pictures often; his phone holds dozens of photos of our granddaughter and me behind a variety of books. On this occasion, he caught us at an exciting point of the narrative. My granddaughter’s eyes are transfixed and her hands […]

We Need Diverse Books…in elementary schools

Am I the last person to know about the partnership between Scholastic Book Club and We Need Diverse Books? From what I can tell, the two organizations have been collaborating since 2015, though I’m pretty sure our school hasn’t sent home any designated WNDB flyers until last month. Or maybe they have — I don’t […]

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 out back to the Christmas […]