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Review of Bird Builds a Nest

Bird Builds a Nest [A First Science Storybook] by Martin Jenkins; illus. by Richard Jones Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-7636-9346-6    $16.99 Striking mixed-media illustrations, collage-like and muted with earth tones, depict a burnt-orange sun rising in the east and a bird perched on a tree branch, perfectly representing the opening sentence of […]

Review of Buster and the Baby

Buster and the Baby by Amy Hest; illus. by Polly Dunbar Preschool    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 12/17    978-0-7636-8787-8    $15.99 In a rhythmic text and lively art, a classic friendship story plays out through an extended game of hide-and-seek between a baby and a small white dog named Buster. Buster carefully determines the best hiding places […]

When the weather outside is frightful…

A little imagination can go a long way towards alleviating snow-day cabin fever. These wintry picture books celebrate thinking outside the box (or, in one case, thinking a box into outer space), making them perfect companions to preschoolers’ indoor imaginative play. In their third outing, Chirri & Chirra: The Snowy Day, Kaya Doi’s rosy-cheeked (and, […]

Kate, Who Tamed the Wind

Kate, Who Tamed the Wind by Liz Garton Scanlon; illus. by Lee White Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 2/18    978-1-101-93479-1    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-101-93480-7    $20.99 This ecologically friendly picture book opens quietly, but it soon pivots from its lulling beginning (“The man lived all alone in the creaky house on the tip-top of […]

From The Guide: Family Matters

Julie Roach’s “BGHB at 50” column, “Amber and Essie and Vera and Me” (January/February 2018 Magazine) looks back at Vera B. Williams’s classic Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart, about “two sisters who take care of each other while missing their incarcerated father and overworked mother.” Williams offers readers an “intimate look at sisterhood,” as […]

Review of Grace for Gus

Grace for Gus by Harry Bliss; illus. by the author Primary    Tegen/HarperCollins    40 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-06-264410-7    $17.99 Bliss’s nearly wordless book, told mainly through panel illustrations (and “with thanks to colorist Frank Young”), is a love letter to NYC, to creative bespectacled schoolchildren, and to guinea pigs; per the dedication page, it’s based on […]

Reading for Groundhog Day

Six more weeks of winter?! Say it ain’t so! Groundhog Day Winter End GIF from Groundhogday GIFs Warm up (and cheer up) with these Groundhog Day–themed books. All of the titles below were recommended for by The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide at the time of their publication; reviews reprinted from The […]

Winter Art

When winter seems to be only shades of black and white, who doesn’t crave color? I often find I’m drawn to doing colorful art projects with my girls — like collages and painting. When one of my daughters recently suggested painting with snow, I was excited to see just what she had in mind. It […]

Review of Snow Scene

Snow Scene by Richard Jackson; illus. by Laura Vaccaro Seeger Preschool    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 11/17    978-1-62672-680-2    $17.99 At first glance, this is the simplest of books for very young children. Short questions, many just two or three words long, are posed, with answers provided by turning the page. The art often gives hints (on […]

Review of When Sophie Thinks She Can’t…

When Sophie Thinks She Can’t… by Molly Bang with Ann Stern; illus. by Molly Bang Preschool    Blue Sky/Scholastic    40 pp.    g 1/18    978-1-338-15298-2    $17.99 Each of the Sophie books (When Sophie Gets Angry — Really, Really Angry…, rev. 3/99; When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt, rev. 9/15) helps children come to terms with emotions […]