Subscribe to The Horn Book


Late winter in New England means a kind of limbo between seasons. You never know what it will be like out — snow or mud or something in between. So when I was preparing for a visit to my twin daughters’ classroom to teach a winter science lesson, I had to be flexible. The class […]

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 The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman; 
photos by the author Intermediate    Houghton    140 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-544-71713-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-328-83028-9    $9.99 Sidman introduces readers to Maria Merian, a seventeenth-century German naturalist whose illustrations of the life cycles of butterflies and moths included groundbreaking scientific details, such […]

Interesting invention stories

Allman, Toney  Women Scientists and Inventors Middle school, high school     80 pp.     ReferencePoint Collective Biographies series. Following a brief introduction describing historical obstacles to women’s careers in sciences, this volume profiles six successful women and their rise to influence. Each fairly short bio narrates the ups and downs of its subject’s career, and most paint […]

Geology nonfiction that rocks

These rockin’ nonfiction titles use a variety of formats and approaches to offer intermediate readers engaging lessons in earth science. Author Charlotte Guillain and illustrator Yuval Zommer’s The Street Beneath My Feet provides a journey to the center of the Earth via a clever vertical accordion-fold book design. Turn the sturdy pages from bottom to […]

Review of A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars

A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars by Seth Fishman; illus. by Isabel Greenberg Primary    Greenwillow    40 pp. 9/17    978-0-06-245578-9    $17.99 “This entire world is filled with crazy numbers, built one on top of the other, making it whole and complete.” Fishman and Greenberg engagingly highlight the wondrousness of numbers and stars, as well as just about […]

Winter Seeds

I am thankful for the evergreens, especially at this time of the year when other trees are bare and many animals have migrated to warmer climes. Evergreens provide a bit of color, their green needles glistening in the winter sunlight, in our now mostly monotone winter landscape, and they hold the promise of new life […]

Insects and invertebrates

Aston, Dianna Hutts  A Beetle Is Shy Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Chronicle Illustrated by Sylvia Long. Larger-than-life watercolor illustrations of colorful, gem-like beetles are framed by poetic text describing their features and behaviors. This exploration of beetle biodiversity showcases their “kaleidoscopic” colors; their range of stature (“A beetle is colossal… / or microscopic”); their lively […]


Baxter, Roberta  Sedimentary Rocks Gr. 4–6     24 pp.     Child’s McCarthy, Cecilia Pinto  Metamorphic Rocks Gr. 4–6     24 pp.     Child’s Watts, Pam  The Rock Cycle Gr. 4–6     24 pp.     Child’s York, M. J.  Igneous Rocks Gr. 4–6     24 pp.     Child’s Geology Rocks! series. These books present middle graders with basic information about rocks (in somewhat choppy […]

Review of Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth

Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth by Nicola Davies; illus. by Emily Sutton Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.    g 11/17    978-0-7636-9483-8    $15.99 “How many different kinds of living things are there on our planet? One, two, three, MANY!” With this important question and response, Davies begins her consideration of biodiversity, starting with the idea that […]