Subscribe to The Horn Book

Summer staycations

These picture books show that summer vacations don’t have to be elaborate going-away affairs — with a little imagination and some good friends, they can be a state of mind. In Deborah Underwood’s Monster & Mouse Go Camping, outdoor enthusiast Mouse convinces her anxious pal Monster to go camping with her: “Camping is great!” Mouse’s […]

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 adventures

These four entertaining, summertime-set novels (including one graphic novel) will have readers channeling their inner sleuths to find buried treasure, getting an insider’s look at an (un)orthodox summer camp, revisiting a beloved family one last time, and gaining a deeper appreciation for the little things that can make a family trip so memorable. Author Jeanne […]

When life gives you The Lemonade War

What do you do when life (or your second-grade teacher*) gives you Jacqueline Davies’s The Lemonade War? If you don’t have lemonade, you grab an open bottle of grape juice from the fridge and half-empty bag of Goldfish crackers from the cupboard and wait for the customers to line up. To my surprise, they did! […]

On Jean C. George’s “Summer and Children and Birds and Animals and Flowers and Trees and Bees and Books” (from 1959)

That’s Jean Craighead George, folks. This article, originally published in the June 1959 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, is very much like its leisurely, evocative title: “Summer and Children and Birds and Animals and Flowers and Trees and Bees and Books.” Beginning with a tender story about her daughter and an abandoned rose-breasted grosbeak […]

Summer’s here

Climbing trees, getting wet, having outdoor adventures. The following picture books capture the mood of summertime exploration and fun. Even though he’s warned to stay safely inside the icebox, the titular star of Ice Boy escapes to the outside (“Hello, world!”). He loves the outside with its beach and its sun…and he soon becomes Water […]

California dreamin’

A few unseasonably hot days (but climate change is just a hoax, right?) fooled us into believing warm weather was just around the corner. Now that we’re back to much more reasonable (read: freezing cold) temperatures for Boston in March, this California girl is living vicariously through these summery, oh-so-trendy new YA covers: Don’t you […]

Board Book Roundup: Summer 2016 Edition

This column is part of a series of recommended board book roundups, formerly published twice a year, now published every season. You can find the previous installments here. Don’t miss Viki Ash’s primer “What Makes a Good Board Book?” from the March/April 2010 Horn Book Magazine. Here are board books to enjoy with your toddler […]

Yarn bomb!

While walking in the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain this weekend, I finally witnessed what Mac Barnett was talking about in his 2012 Boston Globe-Horn Book Picture Book Award speech for Extra Yarn. (BTW, the 2013 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards announcement is coming up!) And here’s a view of the city of Boston from Peters […]

The fun kind of summer reading

We’ve posted our selections, compiled by Katie Bircher, for summer reading–the fun kind, not for school. You can see my at-home mostly-unread piles above: some are as yet untouched and saved for true leisure (The End of the Wasp Season, by Denise Mina, a Scottish crime writer I love) and some half-read and unlikely to […]