Is your child an avid reader or a reluctant one? Having been a bookworm, I felt very comfortable when my first son seemed to be born with a love of books—it felt like an inherited trait. The next guy, well, he liked construction, then soccer, and then environmentalism and then cooking. His love of reading […]


It seemed to happen overnight. My daughter entered kindergarten and suddenly every little girl that I came across between the ages of 5 and 8 was into Junie B. Jones books. I was thrilled when my daughter brought one home from school. The move to reading actual chapter books and having a need to use […]


My son’s 3rd grade teacher gifted him I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor as a holiday gift. I was skeptical since he is a picky reader, and then shocked and very pleased when he read it in one day. Not only that, he was full of questions about Pearl Harbor and battleships. The series […]


Brian Selznick’s debut children’s book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, followed the path of every new author’s fantasy: It got magnificent reviews full of words like groundbreaking; it won a Caldecott; it became that book every parent tells every other parent about; and—just to make sure Selznick would be pinching himself—now it’s a major motion […]

pinocchio opener

I think we have at least three copies of different Pinocchio books—every time I see one for cheap at a garage sale, I have to buy it, as I imagine that it will make a perfect gift for someone. But I think we finally happened upon the best one. This Pinocchio from 1968, functions a […]


It’s a wonderful feeling to share a favorite book from your own childhood with your kids, and relive the experience of that discovery. (Reliving anything through one’s kids can be dangerous, admittedly, but as long as the focus remains on their interests and desires and not on the parent’s, I think it can be innocent […]


We recently retrieved my husband’s childhood collection of Hardy Boys books. When realized that some of them had been his own dad’s from the 1940s, we decided to go on eBay to fill out the collection with vintage copies. They’re relatively inexpensive, you can often buy a complete set, and they look great on a […]


This is actually the second in a series of posts I began last fall; once again, I’m relying heavily on my blog’s only assistant editor, 13-year-old Elizabeth, the older sister of one of my older son’s best friends. (Without her, I wouldn’t have a prayer of being able to cover these books—so again, thanks, Elizabeth!) […]

traveller in time

I’m not much of a reader of modern fiction (and if you’re wondering what this has to do with children’s books, bear with me—I’ll get there). Given the limited time I have for reading at this parenting-laden time of my life, I want to be sure that when I embark on a novel, I really, […]


There are tons of tween and YA books out there nowadays that intertwine childhood rebellion and the supernatural. (I was going to suggest this was the legacy of the Twilight books, but come to think of it, there always have been.) Nnedi Okorafor‘s Akata Witch stands apart from the rest, and not just because it’s […]

Lizard Music cvr

Daniel Pinkwater‘s Lizard Music isn’t a new book by any stretch of the imagination—in fact, it wasn’t all that new when I read it back in grade school. But it is a lesser-known classic, and as such fits the mission of the New York Review of Books Children’s Collection, which recently came out with a […]


When The Invention of Hugo Cabret came out a few years ago, to immediate deserved acclaim (this summer, it becomes a Scorsese-directed feature film), I remember wondering if its quietly revolutionary storytelling style would catch on with other writers and illustrators. Brian Selznick’s novel is mostly conveyed through the words and paragraphs that novels generally […]

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