Posts tagged with children-s-books

Nov 29 2018

Holiday Gift Pick #6


Gift Idea #6: The complete Lockwood & Co. series, by Jonathan Stroud (approximately $35 for paperback editions)

If you're shopping for a teenager (or an adult who isn't above reading YA literature), we can't recommend this series highly enough. Seriously, it's wildly imaginative and deeply creepy and the teeniest bit romantic, and...

More »

Nov 29 2018

Holiday Gift Pick #5


Gift Idea #5: Anything by Taro Gomi, but particularly the recent re-release of The Crocodile and the Dentist ($16.99)

Taro Gomi has written more than 400 books, and while he lacks the current kid-lit buzz of, say, Mo Willems, his stories are a consistent hit. I was pleased to see that Chronicle Books has re-released his picture book The Crocodile and the Dentist...

More »

Sep 10 2018

Weekly Book Giveaway: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs and Cassandra Jean


This week's Book Giveaway is the graphic novel adaptation of Ransom Riggs's Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. (I realize the original version of the book was also pretty graphics-heavy, but apparently someone decided to go all the way.) Again, a full review will follow shortly, and please note: due to a bunch of overdue postings, this giveaway will run through October 12th...

More »

Aug 9 2018

Summer reading


The Guardian recently posted a great article on tips and tricks to encourage children to read during the summer. I've always been a fan of the "give them no other option" approach myself, but...

More »

Jun 25 2018

A Barrel of Laughs, a Vale of Tears, by Jules Feiffer


In a world bursting with children's stories that feel like they were designed by an algorithm to appeal to the widest possible audience, Jules Fieffer's A Barrel of Laughs, a Vale of Tears stands out. It's a genuinely weird book, and I'd bet cash money it never would have found a publisher had it been written by a less well-known author...

More »

Mar 28 2018



The trailer is out for Eli Roth's adaptation of John Bellairs’ 1973 YA novel The House With a Clock in Its Walls. The movie looks fine, but the real question is: how have I not read this yet?

More »

Mar 1 2018

A steep decline


According to The Guardian, a recent study of UK families indicates that the number of toddlers being read to every day has dropped by nearly 20% since 2013. The "Understanding the Children’s Book Consumer" survey is conducted annually by Nielsen Book Research, and consisted of interviews with roughly 2000 parents...

More »

Jan 11 2018

Pre-teen Holmes


According to Deadline, Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown has signed on to star in a movie adaptation of the popular Enola Holmes mystery series, about the crime-solving baby sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes...

More »

Jan 10 2018

Where's Little My?


There's a Moomin-themed children's hospital opening in Finland later this year, and the official Moomin website has some early pictures of the decor. Sadly, I don't see any images of my favorite character, Little My, but...

More »

Nov 16 2017

A rare bit of great news (in a week that could use it)


There was a lovely article on NPR recently about Books From Birth, a D.C. Public Library program that mails a book a month, every month, to enrolled children from birth to age 5...

More »

Sep 11 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Empty Grave, by Jonathan Stroud


This week's Book Giveaway is Jonathan Stroud's The Empty Grave, the last book in our beloved Lockwood & Co. series. I'm strangely reluctant to start this book—it's a little painful to accept that this will be the last time we get to celebrate the beginning of autumn with a new Lockwood book. Where will I get my only-technically-G-rated scares now?!? Anyway, a review will be posted as soon as I accept the inevitable...

More »

Sep 6 2017

No pants = no moral authority


There's an article in the Guardian about a recent study of the moral effects of children's literature. According to the results, children who read stories featuring human characters behaving in moral ways were far more likely to emulate that behavior than children who read stories about anthropomorphic animals...

More »

Jul 5 2017

Not a word-for-word adaptation


The first official trailer was recently released for the upcoming film adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's 1981 children's classic Jumanji. I have no idea if this is supposed to be a sequel or reboot of the 1995 Jumanji movie, but...

More »

May 25 2017



In celebration of the 50th anniversary of E. L. Konigsburg's From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler, the Guardian has devoted one of its ongoing "Novel Recipes" segments to New York Pretzels...

More »

Feb 23 2017

Once and future Studio Ghibli


The trailer is out for Mary and the Witch's Flower, which I'm interested in for two reasons. First, it's based on a novel by Mary Stewart, author of my beloved Nine Coaches Waiting (which is...

More »

Jan 24 2017

A hundred and thirty-odd years later...


I got an e-mail last week about The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine, a "never-before-published, unfinished children’s story by Mark Twain, completed and brought to life by Caldecott Medal winners Philip and Erin Stead", which will be released next September from Random House. The cover art...

More »

Oct 31 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Secret Keepers, by Trenton Lee Stewart


This week's Book Giveaway is The Secret Keepers, the latest book by The Mysterious Benedict Society author Trenton Lee Stewart. A full review will follow shortly, but first I must inform you that this cover art is even cooler in person...

More »

Apr 8 2016

Expanded (but not enough)


The more I think about Common Sense Media's list of 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They're 12, the more I quibble with it. They chose a lot of great books, sure, but others range from flawed (Ender's Game) to age-inappropriate (The Fellowship of the Ring) to straight-up unworthy (The Bad Beginning: A Series of Unfortunate Events)...

More »

Apr 7 2016

Moderately impressed


*Common Sense Media put together a list of 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They're 12, and while I don't agree with all of their choices (or missing choices—um, where's Harriet the Spy? Or anything by Diana Wynne Jones? Lloyd Alexander? Jeff Smith's Bone series?), they...

More »

Mar 30 2016

It would also make an excellent gift... for me.


I recently ran across artist Kristjana S. Williams's The Wonder Garden: Wander through 5 habitats to discover 80 amazing animals. Much like this, this, and...

More »

Mar 8 2016

Unnecessary, but to be expected


According to Deadline, Disney is planning a live-action movie adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffman's The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The film will be directed by Lasse Hallstrom, and called The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. This feels like a missed opportunity to me: see, I grew up with...

More »

Mar 1 2016

Iffy math


Booklist recently posted an article about the massive increase in the length of middle-grade literature over the past 40 years, attributing the 173% increase to the popularity of the Harry Potter series. Unfortunately, the author doesn't seem to consider changes in font or style, which I would assume accounts for...

More »

Jan 21 2016

Same issue, different book


Literally only a few months after the flap over the depiction of slavery in the children's book A Fine Dessert, there is another, virtually identical controversy...

More »

Jan 13 2016

Cheese plays more of a supporting role


Okay, I'm not 100% sold on the idea that Heidi is primarily about cheese, but I totally believe that great children's literature is nearly always improved by a memorable food description, from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe's tea party with Mr. Tumnus to...

More »

Nov 10 2015

Newer & improved


Mental Floss recently posted some comparison images of the changes Richard Scarry’s 1963 picture book Best Word Book Ever underwent between its initial publication and...

More »

Aug 10 2015

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, by Stephan Pastis


While people usually compare Stephan Pastis's Timmy Failure series to Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, they're missing an even closer relation: the Timmy Failure books are basically a novel-length version of Marjorie Sharmat's Nate the Great series, albeit with racier humor and a stupider protagonist...

More »

Aug 10 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, by Stephan Pastis


This week's Book Giveaway is Stephan Pastis's Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made. I chose it both because I'm fond of Pastis's Pearls Before Swine comic strip, and because I'm hoping it will be a less excruciating but thematically-similar version of Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. A full review will follow later today...

More »

Jul 23 2015

Next up: hovercars


In another recent NPR post, there's a discussion of an early childhood test that claims to be a clear indicator of a person's eventual reading ability...

More »

Jun 30 2015

Hotly anticipated


Aaaaand today marks the release of The Princess and the Pony, Kate Beaton's first book for children. I'm super excited about this one, even if A) I am several decades past the target audience age, and B) the book trailer is...

More »

Mar 16 2015

Bad Magic, by Pseudonymous Bosch


As I read Pseudonymous Bosch's Bad Magic, I had a bizarre feeling I was reading a junior-division version of Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation. Bad Magic is a lot less creepifying (thankfully), but it covers similar ground—a mysterious, isolated place, a half-explained plot, and a weird blend of fantasy and reality...

More »

Page: 1 2 3