MADreads for Kids

A review of Cat Says Meow and other an-i-mal-o-poe-ia by Michael Arndt

There’s no shortage of books available to the very young describing animal sounds, but Cat Says Meow stands out as a book that both the very young and their slightly older siblings might enjoy. Arndt cleverly illustrates his animals with the very sounds they make, using the o’s of the owl’s hooo as eyes. Lower-case g’s form the scales of fish as they glub along, and a lazy looping h makes for a perfect donkey ear. A clean design and very basic text makes Cat Says Meow great ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
July 18, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods

Eleven year old Violet Diamond has a pretty good life. A loving mother, a close relationship with her older sister, and fun grandparents. While she recognizes her good fortune, she also often feels out of place. Violet is bi-racial, and the rest of her family is white. Her sister’s father was white and her father was black. She is used to people staring at her and asking if she’s adopted, but that doesn’t mean she likes it. Violet’s father died before she was born and, due to a falling out ...read more

Reviewed by Jill O on
July 4, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of It's a Tiger by David LaRochelle

“Are you ready for a story? Me too.” Thus begins this hilarious romp through the jungle (and caves and oceans and islands) as we try to run from a tiger that keeps showing up in the least likely places. Each time we think we’re safe, a more careful look at our surroundings reveals... a tiger! Is he chasing us down in order to devour us? Or does this resourceful feline have other motivations? The bright colors and bold black outlines of the illustrations highlight the sense of cartoonish humor ...read more

Reviewed by Carissa - Alicia Ashman on
June 27, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Friends by Mies van Hout

It never ceases to amaze me -- what picture book authors and illustrators can do with just a few simple words and pictures. In Friends, by Mies van Hout, bright and engaging chalk illustrations with one word depict the many joys and hardships of friendship. From playing together, to crying together, and even teasing each other, little creatures perfectly embody a child's experiences being a friend. ...read more

Reviewed by Krissy on
June 20, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier

If you and your little ones love books, Open This Little Book is the perfect choice. It's a story within a story, a book within a book -- and it's all a lot of fun! Madison native, Jesse Klausmeier, along with illustrator-extraordinaire Suzy Lee, have created an imaginative and exciting picture book that will have your kids asking to read it again and again (really -- my three year old had to read it four times in a row the first day we brought it home from the library). But what's ...read more

Reviewed by Krissy on
June 13, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan Roth

Just in time for our science-themed Summer Reading Club comes this amazingly beautiful non-fiction gem. Parrots Over Puerto Rico tells the history of both the island of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican parrot. With rich back matter explaining the efforts made to save the Puerto Rican parrot, including photographs of the birds and scientists, this is a great choice for a wide variety of interest levels. And, you can't miss the ...read more

Reviewed by Krissy on
June 6, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Alien in My Pocket: Blast Off! by Nate Ball

We here at Madison Public Library are gearing up for our Summer Reading Club. The theme this year is: Fizz, Boom, Read! And what better way to start our summer of science than with this funny and smart book about a boy and the alien who crash lands into his bedroom. Zack McGee, a 4th grader, starts to fall asleep one night while studying his science homework. Before going to bed, he notices what looks like a falling star. After he makes his wish, he opens his eyes and realizes it’s ...read more

Reviewed by Tina - Central on
May 30, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The Big Wet Balloon by Liniers This charming new release, from the well-respected Toon graphic novel series, celebrates the joys of the rainy day. Clemmie and her big sister have big plans for a Saturday picnic, but when a rainstorm shows up, Clemmie's big sister tries to convince her that getting wet can be just as much fun. Worms, puddles and rainbows are the new agenda, and Clemmie is not so sure it has changed for the better. These sweet sisters share many touching moments that make this early reader a perfect ...read more May 23, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Wait! Wait! by Hatsue Nakawaki

This is a sweet story that depicts a young child walking and observing animals. Along the way, the child sees a butterfly, a lizard, birds, and cats. As the child walks towards each creature, with hands out, the child is thinking, “wait, wait.” The child wants to touch and observe the animal up close. But of course, the animals fly or run away. I love how this book shows young children’s naturally curiosity and fearlessness. The story ends with the child being scooped up by the father and ...read more

Reviewed by Lesley K on
May 9, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Odd Weird and Little by Patrick Jennings

Odd, weird, and little says it all, when describing the new kid in Woodrow’s classroom. Toulouse is his name, he’s from Quebec, he wears a fancy suit and carries a briefcase, and he speaks French. Woodrow, the book’s narrator and the current odd-man-out at school, is immediately intrigued with Toulouse, but he wonders if it would be worth it befriending this unique and rather owlish new student. Woodrow defends Toulouse against the classroom bullies, and Toulouse helps Woodrow, while ...read more

Reviewed by Madeleine on
May 2, 2014 | 0 comments