Subscribe to The Horn Book

Review of Libba: The Magnificent Musical 

Life of Elizabeth Cotten

Libba: The Magnificent Musical 

Life of Elizabeth Cotten by Laura Veirs; 

illus. by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh Primary    Chronicle    48 pp. 1/18    978-1-4521-4857-1    $17.99 In this picture-book biography of 
folk musician Elizabeth Cotten (1893–1987), a straightforward narrative describes her modest upbringing in rural North Carolina, where “Libba” taught herself to play her brother’s right-handed guitar despite having […]

Summer lessons

The following new summery picture books for preschoolers and up touch on themes of overcoming fears, making new friends, defining home, and persevering, all in light-and-breezy summertime-friendly ways. For more recommended summertime reads, check out our Summer Reading list. See also our new Five Questions interviews with Julián Is a Mermaid author/illustrator Jessica Love 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 The Field

The Field by Baptiste Paul; illus. by Jacqueline Alcántara Primary    NorthSouth    32 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-7358-4312-7    $17.95 The place: a verdant Caribbean islandscape. The day’s activity for the community’s children: a pickup game of futbol (soccer). Does it matter that the futbol field is a converted cow pasture? Does it matter that some of the […]

Review of Alma and How She Got Her Name

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 4/18    978-0-7636-9355-8    $15.99 Spanish ed.  978-0-7636-9358-9    $15.99 Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela feels self-conscious about her long name until her father tells her about the family members she is named after. Use of the […]

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 […]

Review of Did You Hear What I Heard?: Poems About School

Did You Hear What I Heard?: Poems About School by Kay Winters; illus by Patrice Barton Primary    Dial    40 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-399-53898-8    $16.99 Thirty-five poems cover the school year from “Bus Stop” to “Sing a Song of Summer,” with a fire drill, a snow day, April Fool’s Day, and Earth Day in between. There’s […]

Review of All That Trash: The Story of the 1987 Garbage 

Barge and Our Problem with Stuff

All That Trash: The Story of the 1987 Garbage 

Barge and Our Problem with Stuff by Meghan McCarthy; 

illus. by the author Primary    Wiseman/Simon    48 pp. 2/18    978-1-4814-7752-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-7753-6    $10.99 McCarthy sets her historical scene 
with three iconic 1980s images: a “speedy white car,” “boxy-looking computers,” and “big hair,” all depicted in […]

Review of Night Out

Night Out by Daniel Miyares; illus. by the author Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 5/18    978-1-5247-6572-9    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-6573-6    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-6574-3    $10.99 Boarding school (or perhaps it’s some kind of residential institution) is lonely for the solitary boy in this magical after-dark adventure. We see only one instance of his […]

Review of A Round of Robins

A Round of Robins by Katie Hesterman; 

illus. by Sergio Ruzzier Primary    Paulsen/Penguin    40 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-399-54778-2    $16.99 Sixteen poems follow a pair of robin parents as they raise not one but two sets of baby robins in this factual and funny volume. The story begins with “Defender Dad” telling three annoyed-looking birds on […]