MADreads for Kids

A review of Going Places by Peter Reynolds

Each kid in class competes in the annual Going Places contest. Rafael is so excited that when the teacher asks who’d like to get their go-cart kit, he’s the first to raise his hand. But she tells the rest of his jealous classmates not to worry, she’s got enough kits for everyone in class… and they are all exactly the same. As soon as he can, Rafael reads the detailed instructions and starts putting together his go-cart. Maya, his classmate and next-door neighbor, hasn’t even started working on ...read more

Reviewed by Tina - Central on
January 23, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

Even though Tsar Nicholas II of Russia abdicated the throne, he and his family, along with their maid and family dog were executed in July of 1918 after living under house arrest for an extended period of time.  Fleming details the events that led up to that horrible day.  The excesses of the royal family and the great poverty endured by millions of Russian citizens brought about a revolution and unfortunately the Romanov family paid the price.   Fleming gives a very ...read more

Reviewed by Lesley K on
January 16, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Hooray For Hat by Brian Won

When Elephant wakes up on the wrong side of the bed one morning, he is in no mood to hear his doorbell ring.  But after stomping down the stairs, he is surprised by a beribboned box on his doorstep.  Inside he discovers a tower of hats.  “HOORAY FOR HAT!”  Then Elephant goes off to show his friends who each have their own case of the grumps, and who each cheer for the hat Elephant offers them.  With minimal text and deceptively simple yet fully expressive illustrations ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
January 9, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The adventures of Beekle : the unimaginary friend by Dan Santat

Beekle was born to be an imaginary friend, but no one has imagined him yet!  When Beekle courageously sets out for the real world, will he finally find the special friend of his dreams?  The Adventures of Beekle is a brilliant feast for eyes and hearts, but don't just try to imagine it--borrow it from your local library today! ...read more

Reviewed by Abby on
January 2, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Little Elliot, Big city by Mike Curato

Will Little Elliot the small, white, polka-dotted elephant be the next big children’s book character?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that this is one book I couldn’t rightly judge by its cover.  Little Elliot is a small soul overlooked in a big and bustling New York City.  Pushed around in subway crowds, unable to reach up to the bakery counter to purchase a cupcake, Elliot defines the word diminutive.  Until, that is, he meets Mouse.  Mouse needs Elliot, and ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
December 26, 2014 | 0 comments
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