MADreads for Kids

A review of The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life by Lois Ehlert

Open up this lovely and colorful picture book about author and illustrator Lois Ehlert! The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life (Beach Lane Books, 2013) reads like a personal journal or memory book, with the added benefit of having Ehlert’s own stunning artwork, personal jottings, and inspirations filling every page. We get to see a yellowed photo of her parents after a trek to hunt wild asparagus. We get a peek at her folk art and fishing lure collection – we see mock-ups of some of her ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
December 19, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Digby O'Day in the fast lane by Shirley Hughes

In addition to our usual picture books, this year I’ve been introducing my son to chapter books at bedtime. I like the greater complexity of the longer storylines and it’s great practice remembering what has already happened in the story and connecting it with what’s being read now and, perhaps most challenging: practicing the difficult skill of stopping reading and putting in a bookmark (or “chaptermark” as he calls them) at the end of an especially exciting chapter. (I still struggle with ...read more

Reviewed by Carissa - Alicia Ashman on
December 12, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of George's Secret Key to the Universe by Lucy Hawking and Stephen Hawking

I was slowly making my way through Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time when I read that there was a children’s book by the author that deals with the origins of the universe and black holes. While A Brief History is actually, pleasantly so, more accessible than I expected, I was really interested in the idea of a book that could make such heavy scientific concepts ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
December 10, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Bob Shea

“Drywater Gulch had a toad problem.” A band of thieving outlaws called the “Toad Brothers”, who would “steal your gold, kiss your cattle and insult your chili” had taken over the town.  Our hero rides in on a tortoise (“Give him a minute”) and uses his vast knowledge of dinosaurs to round up those pesky cattle kissn’ varmints and lock them up in the pokey.  Bob Shea’s western voice adds rip-snortin’ humor to Lane Smiths sepia toned illustrations without alienating the audience.  ...read more

Reviewed by Ruth on
November 28, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Quest by Aaron Becker

Following the adventures in his first book Journey (a 2014 Caldecott Honor Book), Becker brings us another breathtaking story. Join two kids as they are caught up in the rescue of a kidnapped king while solving a puzzling map to save a kingdom from darkness. The second in the Journey trilogy is a wordless and thrilling tale of fantastical adventure in picture book form. It’s sure to be a classic. ...read more

Reviewed by Tina - Central on
November 21, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Dragon's Extraordinary Egg by Debi Gliori

In this cute story-within-a-story, baby Bib hears his favorite nighttime story about the dragons who used to live in the area. What happens when a eggless mother dragon meets a lonely egg? This heart-warming tale is great to help children learn about families of all kinds. This book’s most appealing characteristics are the expressive drawings matched with a loving refrain that assures kids that “sometimes things happen for a reason.” ...read more

Reviewed by Tina - Central on
November 14, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The cat, the dog, Little Red, the exploding eggs, the wolf, and Grandma by Diane Fox

Cat would like to read a simple story about a little girl who wears a redhood and takes a basket of goodies to her grandmother’s house. At least that’s what Cat is trying to do. Dog has other ideas. And questions. Lots of questions. What’s the little girl’s superhero power? After all she is wearing a cape. Does she hypnotize bad guys? Why doesn’t the wolf eat little red riding hood in the woods? Does little red have a Kindness Ray? Are the eggs in the basket exploding eggs? In fact Dog is ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
October 31, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Monster Needs a Costume by Paul Czajak

Halloween is on its way, and it’s never too early to find your perfect costume. That’s exactly what Monster Needs a Costume is all about. But he really can’t decide. Watch as Monster tries on some amazing costumes, including an astronaut and a pear, and even dresses up as a cowboy in a ten-gallon hat. Enjoy his exploits when he dresses up as a ballerina, and even a ninja. (It's hard to be stealthy when you are nine feet tall!) Finally, discover what he chooses for his final, super creative ...read more

Reviewed by Tina - Central on
October 17, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The Scavengers by Michael Perry

When I went to a recent Michael Perry event I wasn’t planning to buy his new book, The Scavengers, because it’s a kids’ book. But after a few passages read aloud in Perry’s signature down-home-wisdom style, I was hooked. So I bought the book and devoured it in about two sittings, forgetting very quickly that it was even supposed to be a kids’ book (don’t worry, it’s ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
October 15, 2014 | 2 comments
A review of Swamp chomp by Lola M. Schaefer

The water in the swamp is rippling.... All the animals and insects of the swamp are preparing for lunch, so get ready to nibble, gulp, snap and CHOMP along!  Packed with vivid verbs, Swamp Chomp is a perfect pick for the preschool set.  A bonus endnote even explains food chains--gobble this goody up before it gets away! ...read more

Reviewed by Abby on
October 10, 2014 | 0 comments