Books by Joan Horton

Released: July 17, 2012

"Sure to be a hit at Halloween, Mother's Day, during a discussion about puns and when the popular question arises, 'So what do you want to be when you grow up?' (Picture book. 4-7)"
In this ode to hardworking mummy mothers, an impressive collection of careers is introduced with deliciously icky details sure to elicit appreciative "eww's." Read full book review >
MATH ATTACK! by Joan Horton
Released: March 20, 2009

In a departure from her collections of children's poetry (Halloween Hoots and Howls, illustrated by JoAnn Adinolfi, 1999, etc.), Horton's latest, while it still rhymes, tells the story of a young girl suffering from a math attack. It all happens when Miss Glass asked her seven times ten: Numbers fly out of the girl's head, bouncing off objects and hitting people. The nurse is no help, nor is a police officer—in fact, each time she recounts her plight, the numbers again pour out. The tale picks up momentum as the numbers wreak havoc in the town, but quickly slides into repetitiousness, with neither logic nor clever arithmetic games to give it a framework. While most of the couplets scan well, there are a few rhymes that just don't work. Brooker's artwork mixes painting with collage, resulting in busily full illustrations that are rich in textures. Ultimately, this falls far short of Jon Sczieska and Lane Smith's masterful Math Curse (1995). With its tiresome repetition and lack of utility as a lesson springboard in classrooms, this is one attack to avoid. (Picture book. 5-9)Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2006

"Quickly, tell me, what would you do / If a hippo were stomping around in your stew." Horton's collection of silly animal poems covers the animal kingdom from the ponderous hippo to a snuffling elephant to the annoying, but much celebrated in story and poem, mosquito. There are several gems: advice to tell your jokes to hyenas if you want to be assured of laughs; a centipede's lament at never finding 100 pairs of matching shoes; a snake who wishes he had a zipper to help him shed his skin; and a tiny lizard's dream of being a monstrous, fearless dragon. There are others, however, which are definite also-rans in this poetical biome: a penguin poem that brings Helen Lester's Tacky series to mind and a plaid-tortured chameleon fresh out of Looney Tunes. Adinolfi's mixed-media illustrations are bright and energetic, making this, if not a first choice, a good enough ingredient to fill out thin poetry collections. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >