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Holiday High Notes 2022

Sleigh bells ring. People pleading for some gifts made for reading. They’re new and they’re old and festively told: stories for a winter wonderland.* Here’s our annual list of recommended illustrated holiday books, new or reissued — season’s greetings from the Horn Book staff! *with apologies to lyricist Jeremy Stuart...

Fascinating figures

These five absorbing YA biographies introduce readers to an iconic Olympics activist; a groundbreaking civil rights activist; a German Jewish artist; a suspected Lincoln assassination conspirator — and present well-known lives (e.g., Einstein’s) in eye-catching ways. Hanged!: Mary Surratt & the Plot to Assassinate Abraham Lincoln by Sarah Miller Middle...

Quirky sci-fi

A lifelike robot boy; a cybernetically enhanced cat; a sentient space rover; and ocean creatures in a diving suit on land are the central characters in these four entertaining science fiction stories (two of which are graphic novels) for middle-grade readers. Brand New Boy by David Almond; illus. by Marta...

Stories about storytelling

Here are five recent picture books that creatively introduce (in different ways) the concept of storytelling. The Guide/Reviews Database also includes the subject Storytelling; when browsing that extensive list you’ll find other picture books in the same vein, such as Nahid Kazemi’s Shahrzad & the Angry King (rev. 1/22) and...

Review of Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story

Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story by Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry, and Alexis Bunten; illus. by Garry Meeches Sr. Primary    Charlesbridge    32 pp.    g 8/22    978-1-62354-290-0    $16.99 “Many Americans call it a day of thanksgiving. Many of our people call it a day of mourning.” A team of Native creators provides...

Veterans Day

Today, Veterans Day, is a good day to share books about veterans, their experiences and sacrifices, and their supportive families and communities on the homefront. The Guide/Reviews Database is honoring them with three booklists of recent recommended fiction and nonfiction titles for primary, intermediate, and older readers. Grade levels are...

Review of The Night Before The Nutcracker

The Night Before The Nutcracker by John Robert Allman; illus. by Julianna Swaney Primary    Doubleday    40 pp.    g 9/22    978-0-593-18091-4    $18.99 Library ed.  978-0-593-18092-1    $21.99 e-book ed.  978-0-593-18117-1    $10.99 Presented by American Ballet Theatre. A Clement C. Moore–inspired text and lively illustrations offer a tantalizing look at the...

Review of Twelve Dinging Doorbells

Twelve Dinging Doorbells by Tameka Fryer Brown; illus. by Ebony Glenn Primary    Kokila/Penguin    32 pp.    g 10/22    978-1-9848-1517-0    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-1518-7    $10.99 “At the first dinging doorbell this ­holiday I see… / a sweet potato pie just for me!” In this delightful takeoff on “The Twelve Days...

Review of The Best Gift for Bear

The Best Gift for Bear by Jennifer A. Bell; illus. by the author Preschool    Two Lions/Amazon    40 pp.    g 9/22    978-1-5420-2922-3    $17.99 Hedgehog has been baking cookies for her friends and neighbors, but “Bear should have a grand gift, a special gift, something wonderful…just like Bear.” Nothing...
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