MADreads for Kids

A review of Chews Your Destiny by Rhode Montijo

Gabby loves to chew gum all day and all night and her mother warns her that someday she may turn into gum, but she never thought it would really happen. In book one, we find out how Gabby Gomez learns to control her newfound sticky, stretchy superpowers and watch as she puts those powers to good use. My family loves this book, from the (extremely rare) Latina superhero to the bubblegum-cheerful artwork to the perfect balance of text vs. ...read more

Reviewed by Carissa - Alicia Ashman on
August 8, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown

This outstanding graphic novel is a 2014 Notable Children's Book from The American Library Association. It truly is notable in terms of disseminating factual information in the most attractive and appealing way possible. As the title suggests, this book is about the Dust Bowl or "The Dirty Thirties," when black dirt blew up and rained down on America's Great Plains devastating the land, farms, homes, humans and creatures in its ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
August 7, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage

In the sequel to the Newbery Honor winner, Three Times Lucky, Desperado Detective agent Mo LeBeau and her partner, Dale, bring spook without too much scare and crushes without romance, perfect for the 4-7 grade set. When Mo's adoptive family buys a historic inn at auction, they don't realize a bona fide ghost is in the fine print and it is up to the detectives to solve the mystery ...read more

Reviewed by Krissy on
July 25, 2014 | 0 comments
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 | 1 comment
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