Subscribe to The Horn Book

Review of No More Poems!: A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse

No More Poems!: A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse by Rhett Miller; illus. by Dan Santat Primary, Intermediate    Tingley/Little, Brown    48 pp. 3/19    978-0-316-41652-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-41649-8    $9.99 Miller, lead singer/songwriter of the alt-country band Old 97’s, knows how to grab an audience’s attention. This collection of twenty-three kid-pleasing poems opens with […]

For Paul Janeczko

Naomi Shihab Nye, helped out by Lynne Rae Perkins, remembers the recently departed Paul B. Janeczko. He will be missed.     For Paul Janeczko, who Changed the World We were set up to do a reading together in Portland, Maine once — HIS TOWN — and the only attendee was a dog. As we […]

Review of They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems

They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems by David Bowles Middle School    Cinco Puntos    109 pp.    g 9/18    978-1-947627-06-2    $18.95 Paper ed.  978-1-947627-07-9    $12.95 The dynamic complexity of the Rio Grande borderlands pulses in the poetry of twelve-year-old Güero — a nickname commonly given to light-skinned, freckled Mexican and Chicano boys. Inspired by the […]

Make a Circle

Children’s books are better today than they were when my own children were small. At least, I think they are. It’s possible that good books existed in the late- to mid-1970s and 1980s, and I lacked the leisure to find them on the shelves. Going to the library in those days didn’t mean searching for […]

Review of The Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightful Poems

The Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightful Poems by Calef Brown; illus. by the author Primary    Carolrhoda    32 pp. 8/18    978-1-5124-2661-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5415-2468-2    $17.99 Brown (Soup for Breakfast, rev. 3/09; Hypnotize a Tiger, rev. 3/15) gives his quirky, funny verse and art a spooky twist here with seventeen poems celebrating ghosts, witches, demons, and even […]

Poetry with pictures

These illustrated poetry collections touch on a variety of topics — from the everyday to the prehistoric to the supernatural — but all provide inviting ways to introduce primary readers to poetry. In Did You Hear What I Heard?: Poems About School, thirty-five poems follow the months of the school year, from “Bus Stop” to […]

Review of Between the Lines audiobook

Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes; read by Cherise Boothe, Lori Gardner, Almarie Guerra, Sisi Aisha Johnson, Edward Lopez, Ruffin Prentiss, and James Shippy Middle School, High School    Recorded Books Rev. 3/18    4 CDs    4 hrs.    978-1-5019-6261-5    $13.99 Nine high school students take turns giving readers their impressions of a poetry class they’re all taking, […]

Review of Friends and Foes: Poems About Us All

Friends and Foes: Poems About Us All by Douglas Florian; illus. by the author Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    48 pp. 7/18    978-1-4424-8795-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-8796-3    $10.99 This collection of twenty-five poems teases out many of friendship’s fundamentals, as well as its more nuanced complexities. Along with jealousy, bullies, and new and imaginary friends, the punchy […]

Review of Vivid: Poems & Notes About Color

Vivid: Poems & Notes About Color by Julie Paschkis; illus. by the author Primary    Godwin/Holt    32 pp. 7/18    978-1-250-12229-2    $17.99 Fourteen color poems pair with vibrant gouache illustrations, beginning with the color yellow: “Loudly, rowdy / daffodils yell hello. / Hot yellow.” The poem, set inside a bright sun, blazes above butterflies, birds, flowers, and a bee, […]

Review of Rebound

Rebound by Kwame Alexander; illus. by Dawud Anyabwile Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    414 pp. 4/18    978-0-544-86813-7    $16.99 In this prequel to Alexander’s Newbery Medal–winning The Crossover (rev. 5/14), it’s the summer of 1988, and twelve-year-old Charlie Bell would rather roller-skate with his two best friends or escape into the pages of his beloved Fantastic Four […]