Subscribe to The Horn Book

Review of Harold & Hog Pretend for Real!

Harold & Hog Pretend for Real! [Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!] by Dan Santat; illus. by the author; with additional illustrations by Mo Willems Primary    Hyperion    64 pp.    g 5/19    978-1-368-02716-8    $9.99 Santat takes the already-meta Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series to new heights of self-awareness in this easy reader starring Harold and Hog, […]

2019 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Easy Readers and Primary Grades

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2018–2019 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For a handy take-along list of […]

New for New Readers: What (Exactly) IS an Easy Reader?

Why are high-quality books for emerging readers so challenging to find? I ask this question as a parent of an emerging reader, as well as in my professional capacity as an elementary school librarian. I’m also asked this same question by teachers, other parents, and professional colleagues. After ruminating about easy readers for years (and […]

Review of Duck & Goose: A Gift for Goose

Duck & Goose: A Gift for Goose [Step into Reading] by Tad Hills; illus. by the author Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    32 pp. 1/19    978-0-525-64490-3    $4.99     Library ed.  978-0-525-64491-0    $12.99     e-book ed.  978-0-525-64492-7    $4.99  For certain kids, the box can be the best part of a gift — especially when it’s as enticing as the one […]

Review of See Pip Flap

See Pip Flap [Ready-to-Read: Adventures of Otto] by David Milgrim; illus. by the author Primary    Simon Spotlight    32 pp. 8/18    978-1-5344-1636-9    $17.99 Paper ed.  978-1-5344-1635-2    $4.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-1637-6    $4.99 The latest in Milgrim’s early reader series about robot Otto, mouse Pip, and their creature friends begins with an exit: “See Tweet flap. / See […]

Review of The Itchy Book

The Itchy Book [Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!] by LeUyen Pham; illus. by the author; with additional illustrations by Mo Willems Primary    Hyperion    58 pp.    g 5/18    978-1-368-00564-7    $9.99 Pham’s early reader touches on herd-mentality and nonconformity in a make-believe prehistoric setting. A turtle snoozes in front of a rock etched with the words “Dinosaurs […]

Uncommon graphic novels for beginners

Difficult to classify — and entertaining to read. Here are four new graphic novels for beginning readers and middle graders. See also “Five Questions for Sergio Ruzzier” about his Fox + Chick series (in this issue), “New for New Readers: An Easy Reader Renaissance,” and Brian Selznick and David Serlin’s Talks with Roger interview about […]

Review of The Party and Other Stories

The Party and Other Stories [Fox + Chick] by Sergio Ruzzier; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Chronicle    46 pp. 4/18    978-1-4521-5288-2    $14.99 In a volume with a picture book’s trim size but plenty of graphic-novel elements (simply structured panels, dialogue balloons, sound effects), Ruzzier delivers three stories well suited to both reading newcomers and […]

Summer science

These new books for primary readers present scientifically accurate information about the birds and the bees (and the snails, and the…hippos?) with engaging formats and plenty of humor. In the factual and funny A Round of Robins, sixteen brief, easy-to-read poems follow a pair of robin parents as they raise their chicks. Author Katie Hesterman […]

Review of Pass the Ball, Mo!

Pass the Ball, Mo! by David A. Adler; illus. by Sam Ricks Primary    Penguin    32 pp.    g 1/18    978-0-425-28978-5    $14.99 In this third Mo Jackson easy reader (Geisel Award–winner Don’t Throw It to Mo!; Get a Hit, Mo!), Mo has found a new sports obsession. The ever-enthusiastic boy has basketball on the brain both at […]