Posts tagged with children-s-books

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...

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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)...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Mar 16 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Bad Magic, by Pseudonymous Bosch


This week's Book Giveaway is Pseudonymous Bosch's middle-grade novel Bad Magic, which seems to be a spin-off of his The Name of This Book is Secret series. I haven't read Bosch's earlier novels, but many a sixth-grader has enthusiastically recommended them to me, and I approve of the fact that, as pen names go, "Pseudonymous Bosch" is much cooler than "Lemony Snicket" or "Pittacus Lore"...

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Jan 13 2015



Hark! A Vagrant author Kate Beaton recently announced that she has written her first book for children, and clearly she knows her audience: the book will be called The Princess and the Pony. I have no idea if said pony is THIS pony, but...

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Dec 4 2014

Editing a sacred cow


There's an interesting article in The New York Times about a decision by the Swedish national broadcaster to edit out two scenes in a newly-restored DVD version of the 1969 TV series Pippi Longstocking...

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Oct 7 2014

Eh. Whatever.


Adam Mansbach, author of the bestselling children's book Go the Fuck to Sleep, has written a "sequel": You Have to Fucking Eat. I feel $14.95 is about ten bucks more than I would be willing to pay for a joke picture book, but...

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Sep 30 2014

Anastasia Krupnick, with a little remodeling


According to The Cut, Lois Lowry's Anastasia Krupnik books are going to be re-released next January, with slightly updated content (the publisher is taking out some no-longer-socially-acceptable language and content) and, thankfully, infinitely better cover art...

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Aug 26 2014

The Lowly Worm returns


NPR informs me that there's a new Richard Scarry book coming out this month (despite Scarry's death in 1994). Scarry's son, Richard "Huck" Scarry Jr., claims to have found the partially-finished manuscript for Richard Scarry's Best Lowly Worm Book Ever! in his father's Swiss chalet, and decided to complete it himself...

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Jul 17 2014

Scholastic strikes again


Scholastic is working on another "multi-platform action adventure property", according to Publishers Weekly. Like The 39 Clues, Spirit Animals and...

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Jul 3 2014

RIP, Walter Dean Myers


Critically acclaimed YA author Walter Dean Myers died this week at the age of 76. Myers (whose motto was apparently "Reading is not optional") served as the 2012/2013 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, and campaigned tirelessly against the extreme racial imbalance featured in children' literature...

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Mar 4 2014

Goodnight, some more


Today Sterling Children’s Books is releasing Goodnight Songs, a compilation of "lullaby poems" by Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny author Margaret Wise Brown. According to Publishers Weekly, the book features the work of twelve different illustrators and is packaged with a...

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Jan 23 2014

These Broken Stars on TV


Publishers Weekly informs me that Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner's novel These Broken Stars is going to become a TV show. The book—which I've been seeing in the kids' sections of local bookstores—was published last month and is the first installment in the "Starbound" science-fiction trilogy...

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Jan 16 2014

A little gift for me


I recently saw this title in the children's section of a local bookstore: Ballad, by French comic artist and illustrator Blexbolex. The book is both absolutely gorgeous (the quality of this image doesn't do it justice, trust me—the actual colors are much darker and richer) and weird as hell...

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Sep 19 2013



I don't have a toddler, and I certainly don't have $300 to blow on a novelty lamp, but I'm still coveting this Miffy Lamp XL, inspired by the Miffy series of picture books drawn and written by Dutch artist Dick Bruna. I've never read the Miffy books, which were introduced in the 1950s, but they're apparently famous enough to...

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Sep 18 2013

School of Fear, by Gitty Daneshvari


Like Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Gitty Daneshvari's novel School of Fear is a story about extraordinarily odd children visiting an even odder place. School of Fear can't compare to Dahl's classic, but it boasts plenty of goofy charm, a uniformly appealing cast of characters, and tons of snappy one-liners...

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Jun 25 2013

Diversity in children's literature


NPR's Elizabeth Blair recently posted an article about the lack of diversity in children's books. According to a report by the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, only 3% of children's books are “by or about Latinos—even though nearly a quarter of all public school children today are Latino.” Blair...

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Jun 18 2013

Spirit's Princess and Spirit's Chosen, by Esther Friesner


After writing everything from poetry to TV novelizations to books with titles like Witch Way to the Mall and Fangs for the Mammaries, Esther Friesner has expanded her résumé yet again, embarking on a series of YA books inspired by famous princesses from history and mythology. Previous books in the series have featured Helen of Troy and Nefertiti, but her latest effort focuses on Himiko, a shaman queen of ancient Japan...

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May 16 2013

Is it three-dimensional, though?


I have no use for this utterly awesome mobile based on the art work of Belgian children's author and illustrator Tom Schamp, but I want one. (Maybe hanging mobiles above adults' beds will become a hot design trend...?) I also want more of Schamp's books to be translated into English...

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