MADreads for Kids

A review of Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins

Rude cakes never say please or thank you. They never listen. In short, they have terrible manners. In this book, watch what happens when a rude cake meets a well-mannered giant cyclops. Accompanied by lovely whimsical illustrations of a mis-behaving cake and the adventures they gets into, this is a fantastic and fantastical book that I didn’t know I needed until I saw it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Seriously, it's the cutest little thing. Take a look! ...read more

Reviewed by Tina - Central on
August 28, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Creative Kids Complete Photo Guide to Sewing by Janith Bergeron

What’s the next “new thing”? Something Great Grandma probably did often: sewing! Sewing is making a major comeback. New stitching fans are drawn to the sense of self-expression, independence and personal authenticity. Trying to figure out where to begin when guiding a young person who expresses an interest in sewing? The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing is an excellent resource. The initial chapters focus on hand sewing to familiarize kids with the mechanics. Generous sidebar boxes ...read more

Reviewed by Ruth on
August 22, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Americanine: A Haute Dog of New York by Yann Kebbi

Where do I begin? This is a sophisticated, oversized picture book that is told from the point of view of a French dog who returns to Paris after visiting New York. The illustrations are bold, colored pencil renderings of NYC that are so accurate and frenetic you know exactly where you are, like Grand Central Station or Central Park, but they're also somewhat dreamy and impressionistic. The author's note explains that the book was illustrated from memory from his days living as a student in New ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
August 17, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Binny for Short by Hilary McKay

This is a summer book. A perfect, dreamy, hazy, charming and smart summer book. Everybody, young and old, should grab a copy and sprawl out on the lawn and read it right now, because fall will be upon us before we know it. The Cornwallis family has been through a lot. Mr Cornwallis died unexpectedly, and the rest of the boisterous family was displaced to a cramped apartment. To add insult to injury eleven-year-old Binny’s beloved dog was shuffled between relatives in the chaos, and then old ...read more

Reviewed by Beth on
August 14, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Hansel & Gretel : a Toon graphic by Neil Gaiman

Any fans of Neil Gaiman should probably check this out. It's the standard story of Hansel and Gretel, the woodcutter's children who are left in the woods when then the family is hit by hard times. One night Hansel hears his parents, worried over their lack of food, discuss leaving him and his sister in the woods. Being resourceful and forewarned, Hansel uses whites stones to guide the pair back to the arms of their parents. However, there is still not enough food and again they are led off into ...read more

Reviewed by Tina - Central on
August 7, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Monkey goes bananas by C.P. Bloom

This is a fresh look at the conundrum of the monkey on an island who has a yen for the bunch of bananas hanging from a tree on another island, separated by water, and a hungry predator, in this case, a shark.  Bloom and Raymundo have created a story with just a few words, and highly expressive, cartoon-style illustrations.  Monkey tries various methods to reach the bananas, or make the bananas reach him, and is foiled again and again, in progressively more dramatic and hilarious ways ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
July 31, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson

Okay, I admit it, I picked this one for the cover, but can you blame me?  With the rearing dragon, the perfect castle right out of Disneyland and the witch silhouettes sneaking up the mountains, this book promised some major excitement.  But, wow, did it deliver!  With a few sly nods to traditional princess tales, M.A. Larson's Pennyroyal Academy boldly lays claim to fresh fairytale territory where behavior trumps birth, what you don't know can kill you, and where the strength, ...read more

Reviewed by Abby on
July 31, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Better Nate than ever by Tim Federle

Sitting in his first Broadway audition, Nate realizes it’s better to be simple and honest, “SPECIAL SKILLS: I thought a pirouette was a pasty, before this audition, and if that’s any indication of how much I could learn in New York, I hope I have a chance to live here…” Tim Federle’s Nate is a dreamer, a big dreamer on a big adventure in New York City. In Nate we find a character who refuses to settle for being anything less than his fabulous self, even if that self doesn’t fit into his small ...read more

Reviewed by Carissa - Alicia Ashman on
July 17, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Naked! by Michael Ian Black

You might know Michael Ian Black as a comedian and actor, but he also writes children’s books, including this picture book about the benefits and detriments of running around totally naked.  Don’t worry--this is totally-safe-for-work, and fun-for-kids kind of nudity, with bold, strategic illustrations by Debbie Ridpath Ohi, showing the freedom of nudity balanced with the upside of clothing: the dynamism that comes with wearing a cape for example, not to mention protection from the elements ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
July 9, 2015 | 1 comment
A review of Spots in a Box by Helen Ward

What’s a guinea fowl to do with no spots? Ask for some, of course! In Spots in a Box by Helen Ward (Candlewick Press, 2015), a spotless bird writes a letter requesting some spots. He gets big spots, and little spots, bright spots, and connect-the-dot spots, fancy spots, and - even - not-spots! The humorous illustrations are a perfect combination to the words. The reader sees the guinea fowl try out all sorts of spots – with cardboard boxes, colorful dots, and packaging materials scattered ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
July 3, 2015 | 0 comments