MADreads for Kids

A review of Shake Puppies by Carli Davidson

Photographer and animal trainer Carli Davidson has captured something so specific and mesmerizing that I feel compelled to spread the word. She photographs dogs and puppies mid-shake. This is all jowls and ears and spittle and fur. All paws and playful cuteness. All feel-good. I mean, look at the bull dog puppy on this cover. Just loooook at hiiimmmmm. This is some earnest stuff. With an important dose of awareness. Shake Puppies is the follow-up to the bestselling ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
April 2, 2015 | 3 comments
A review of Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows by Vivian Maier

If you haven’t seen the photography of Vivian Maier, take the time to check out one of the compilations of her work. My favorite so far has been Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows. It’s a compilation of many of her photographs, interspersed with mini-biographical vignettes describing the times and places in her life where she took the photos. I first learned about Vivian Maier from the documentary movie  ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
April 1, 2015 | 1 comment
A review of Creature Features by Steve Jenkins

Some animals are cute and cuddly, some are ferocious and scary, and some are just plain weird.  In this book, 25 animals explain some of their stranger features.  They might look odd to us, but those features are important to the animal’s survival.  So, why is a giraffe’s tongue purple?  Why is the Egyptian vulture’s face bald?  I’ll let them tell you! ...read more

Reviewed by Jill O on
March 20, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Moomin and the Golden Tail by Jansson Tove

Though this is a children’s book and a graphic novel, two categories I’m not normally too familiar with, I can recommend this book for readers of all ages. The illustrations are simple, but engaging, and the story can be appreciated on several different levels. There is a series of Swedish comics and graphic novels about the Moomins, a hippo-esque clan that teaches us about life through endearing capers. In this one, we learn about what happens when the thinning of tail hairs results in the ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
March 18, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Sparky! by Jenny Offill

A bird? A bunny? A trained seal? A young girl wants the perfect pet . . . however, her mother says no to all of these ideas. In fact, she says no to any pet that needs to be “walked or bathed or fed”. What’s a girl to do? Do research, find a pet that fits those criteria, and mail order one – of course! In Sparky! by Jenny Offill (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2014) the mail ordered pet turns out to be a sloth. A hang-from-the-tree, do-not-much-of-anything, except-if-it’s-really-really-slowly, kind ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
March 6, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

What are seven young ladies to do when the headmistress and her brother abruptly falls over dead during dinner? They don't want to go back to their homes and there may be a killer amongst them. The solution: bury the corpses in the garden and dress up one of the students as their headmistress. The mystery thickens as the young ladies, each with her own unique characteristic,  tries to keep up this farce and deal with meddling neighbors, a lovestruck admiral, long-lost relatives, and ...read more

Reviewed by Jody on
February 27, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Revolution by Deborah Wiles

The town of Greenwood, Mississippi, is being invaded. Young college students from the North are coming to help register voters. This story is told from two different viewpoints, Sunny, a twelve year-old white girl, and Raymond, a black boy from Baptist Town. Their paths intertwine as their families and communities take on the challenges of understanding and implementing civil rights.The audiobook version is superbly done with a full cast of actors, laden with commercials, reporter interviews, ...read more

Reviewed by Jody on
February 20, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Swim, Duck, Swim by Susan Lurie

Duck is afraid to learn to swim, but with a little bit of encouragement he takes the plunge. Join him in this delightful picture book that uses charming nature photographs of a duckling and his patient parents. ...read more

Reviewed by Tina - Central on
February 13, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

The Crossover* written by Kwame Alexander is the 2015 Newbery Medal winner. Josh and Jordan Bell are twins, and at 12 years old they've already tasted greatness. Both superstars on their middle school basketball team, the boys live in the warm glow of each other's friendship, and encouragement from their parents-- especially their ex-pro ball player father. When Jordan falls for a girl at school who is no slouch on ...read more

Reviewed by Beth on
February 6, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of El Deafo by Cece Bell

Cece Bell received some well-deserved recognition from this year’s Newbery Award* committee for her Graphic Novel autobiography, El Deafo. Bell lost most of her hearing due to a childhood illness at the age of four. El Deafo covers her childhood up to the age of ten, grappling with her hearing loss, various hearing aid instruments, various friendships some of which last and some of which don’t.  ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
February 5, 2015 | 0 comments