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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 […]

2018 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 2017–2018 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For a handy take-along list of […]

Review of Baby Monkey, Private Eye

 Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick and David Serlin; illus. by Brian Selznick Primary    Scholastic    192 pp. 2/18    978-1-338-18061-9    $16.99 Selznick, who won the 2008 Caldecott Medal for his 534-page picture book/novel hybrid The Invention of Hugo Cabret (rev. 3/07), here presents with coauthor and husband Serlin an almost-two-hundred-page…easy reader/film-noir homage. In five chapters, […]

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 […]

From The Guide: New for New Readers

As the Horn Book editors discuss in this issue, we’re experiencing an “Easy Reader Renaissance,” with publishers exploring all the possibilities of these mainstays of children’s literature. The recommended examples below offer a glimpse at the wide variety of easy readers that are available for the equally wide variety of children who are beginning their […]

New for New Readers: An Easy Reader Renaissance

In this first entry in a series, the Horn Book editors look at some of the new (and newish) easy readers that we’ve been enjoying while revisiting some old favorites. Recommendations are from The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide Online. You can find more on easy readers at hbook.com/tag/easy-readers. Easy readers are […]