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Review of I Am Hermes!: Mischief-Making Messenger of the Gods

I Am Hermes!: Mischief-Making Messenger of the Gods by Mordicai Gerstein; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Holiday    72 pp.    g 4/19    978-0-8234-3942-3    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4203-4    $11.99 Following I Am Pan! (rev. 5/16), here comes Pan’s father, Hermes, the messenger god, eager to tell his own story. This Hermes is handsome, insouciant, impulsive, and […]

Review of My Papi Has a Motorcycle

My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero; illus. by Zeke Peña Primary    Kokila/Penguin    40 pp.    g 5/19    978-0-525-55341-0    $17.99 Spanish ed.  978-0-525-55494-3    $17.99 Quintero’s picture-book text acts as an evocative love letter to her apá and to the interconnected web of Mexican immigrant working-class people who built her hometown of Corona, California. When Papi […]

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, […]

Review of Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born

Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born by Miranda Paul; illus. by Jason Chin Primary    Porter/Holiday    32 pp. 4/19    978-0-8234-4161-7    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4213-3    $18.99 A pithy quintain describes the moment a fertilized human egg becomes a two-celled zygote: “Small. / Ball. / The point of a pin. / Then it divides… / Our story begins.” It’s the first […]

Review of The Little Guys

The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp. 4/19    978-1-62672-442-6    $17.99 The “strongest guys in the whole forest” are the Little Guys — small pastel-colored creatures with acorn-cap hats; red, nose-like appendages; and stick arms and legs. Together there is nothing they cannot conquer. For example, their […]

Review of His Royal Highness, King Baby: A Terrible True Story

His Royal Highness, King Baby: A Terrible True Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones; illus. by David Roberts Primary    Candlewick    48 pp. 9/17    978-0-7636-9793-8    $16.99 “Once upon a time, there was a Happy Family” consisting of a mother, father, daughter (shown with tights on her head simulating long, blonde, princess-y hair), and pet gerbil. Life was grand […]

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 […]

Review of There Are No Bears in This Bakery

There Are No Bears in This Bakery by Julia Sarcone-Roach; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 1/19    978-0-399-55665-4    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55666-1    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-55667-8    $10.99 Sarcone-Roach’s previous bear-centric picture book, The Bear Ate Your Sandwich (rev. 1/15), featured an unreliable offstage narrator, a cover-up, and — spoiler alert — no […]

Review of Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons

Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons by Laura Purdie Salas; illus. by Mercè López Primary    Millbrook    32 pp. 4/19    978-1-5124-9809-7    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5415-4383-6    $19.99 Salas presents a volume of “riddle-ku” poems, a form that is a cross between riddles, haiku, and “mask poems” (poems narrated by “something nonhuman”). The book is divided […]

Review of Beware of the Crocodile

Beware of the Crocodile by Martin Jenkins; illus. by Satoshi Kitamura Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 3/19    978-0-7636-7538-7    $16.99 Heeding the old adage “when introducing a topic to children, start with what they know,” Jenkins initiates his discussion of crocodiles with their most prominent feature: those fascinating and intimidating teeth, which Kitamura depicts in all […]