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Try, try again

Sometimes persistence is the key to success, as demonstrated by the following picture book characters who try, try again. In Molly Bang’s latest Sophie book, When Sophie Thinks She Can’t… (written with Ann Stern), our blonde-pigtailed heroine is working on a tangram puzzle when her older sister comes by and casually solves it (“Too bad […]

Review of The Antlered Ship

The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater; illus. by the Fan Brothers Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    48 pp. 9/17    978-1-4814-5160-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5161-1    $10.99 A young fox’s inquisitiveness sets him apart from the other foxes. Marco’s questions and observations are playful and wide-ranging, from “Why don’t trees ever talk?” to “How deep does the sun go […]

Review of Little i

Little i by Michael Hall; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Greenwillow    48 pp. 9/17    978-0-06-238300-6    $17.99 A cross between a quest story and a 
concept book, Hall’s (Red: A Crayon’s Story, rev. 1/15) latest picture book launches when Little i’s dot falls off and into the sea. Little i boards a boat appropriately shaped […]

Review of Sam, the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World

Sam, the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World by Mo Willems; illus. by the author Preschool    Hyperion    48 pp. 9/17    978-1-368-00214-1    $17.99 As fans of Leonardo, the Terrible Monster (rev. 9/05) will remember, monster Leonardo’s buddy Sam is “the most scaredy-cat kid in the whole world.” In this sequel, Sam and Leonardo meet another […]

Review of King of the Sky

King of the Sky by Nicola Davies; illus. by Laura Carlin Primary    Candlewick    48 pp. 6/17    978-0-7636-9568-2    $17.99 “It rained and rained and rained…The streets smelled of mutton soup and coal dust. And no one spoke my language. All of it told me this is not where you belong.” An elderly Welsh miner and a […]

Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature

Children’s literature scholar and long-time friend of the Horn Book, Carolyn Shute recently let me know about a seasonal exhibit at the Concord (MA) Museum. If you live in the area or will be in or near eastern Massachusetts in the next few weeks, I recommend making the museum’s Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s […]

Review of Lines

Lines by Suzy Lee; illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    32 pp. 9/17    978-1-4521-5665-1    $17.99 The front endpapers show a pencil and eraser on a blank page. The main story begins with a solitary figure skater tracing a crisp line across the ice. What follows are wordless pages of elegant choreography as the skater launches […]

Review of Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story!

Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story! by JaNay Brown-Wood; illus. by Priscilla Burris Preschool    Charlesbridge    32 pp. 8/17    978-1-58089-712-9    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-868-9    $9.99 No matter how big Grandma’s extended family grows, she always finds room for relatives and friends. The young, brown-skinned narrator describes in (generally) metered verse a gathering at Grandma’s house. The […]

Review of After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again

After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp. 10/17    978-1-62672-682-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-19095-6    $9.99 If The Adventures of Beekle is a study of friendship and Are We There Yet? (rev. 3/16) an appeal for mindfulness, then Santat is now […]

Review of Windows

Windows by Julia Denos; illus. by E. B. Goodale Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 10/17    978-0-7636-9035-9    $15.99 “At the end of the day, before the town goes to sleep… / you can take a walk, out your door / into the almost-night.” A brown-skinned child puts on a red hoodie and heads out to take the […]