MADreads for Kids

A review of Fairy tales for Mr. Barker by Jessica Ahlberg

I grew up loving the work of Janet and Allan Ahlberg, so I was thrilled when I discovered Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker – a picture book written and illustrated by their daughter, Jessica Ahlberg.  This cumulative story follows Lucy and her dog, Mr. Barker, through a series of fairy tales.  As they go from one story to another, they rescue Goldilocks, the Three Little Pigs, Jack, and Sleeping Beauty from their fairy tale fates with the ...read more

Reviewed by Madeleine on
November 25, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of The Most Important Thing: stories about sons, fathers and grandfathers by Avi For whatever reason, short story anthologies don’t seem to be fast movers from library shelves.  This is a missed opportunity for readers.  Author extraordinaire, Avi has crafted a series of short stories posing the question “What is the most important thing a father can do for his son?”  The seven stories in the anthology range from absurd to comic to profoundly sad.  Avi renders each story with his deftly poetic style.  While answers to the initial question are not ...read more

Reviewed by Ruth on
November 18, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of One Family by George Shannon

1 is no longer the loneliest number!My new favorite counting book, One Family provides lots of excellent practice counting to numbers between 1 and 10 while serving as a delightful introduction to the concept of collective nouns like bunch, bouquet, flock and family. ...read more

Reviewed by Abby on
November 11, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of How This Book was Made by Mac Barnett

If you are looking for a strictly non-fiction book about how books are made - this is not the book for you.  The tiger reading, hamburger with arms and legs, and astronaut giving a thumbs up on the cover are be some of your first clues.  The fact that is written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Adam Rex are your next clues.  But if you are looking for a fun (and slightly silly) book to read with children about the writing and book making process - this is the book for you.The ...read more

Reviewed by Jennifer on
November 4, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Blocks by Irene Dickson

Sharing is hard! In Blocks by Irene Dickson, 2016 Nosy Crow, Ruby and Benji learn that sharing and playing with their blocks together is more fun than playing alone. The simple text, big and bold illustrations, and diverse characters make this a great story to share with toddlers. Block cut-outs on the cover and different shaped blocks are a great reminder that block play helps support early literacy. Pair this story with other building block books, and then expand the experience with real ...read more

Reviewed by Holly on
October 28, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Whoosh! : Lonnie Johnson's super-soaking stream of inventions by Chris Barton

If you imagine that whomever invented the Super-Soaker was hardly a rocket scientist, you would be flat-out wrong! Lonnie Johnson was exactly that, inventing rockets, rocket fuel, robots that actually moved via commands from sister’s walkie-talkie in his childhood. Johnson became a NASA engineer, and then went on to full-time inventing. Woosh! is a look into the life of the man behind the popular toy – his triumphs and his challenges, including racist policies and attitudes that threatened to ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
October 21, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley

Lucy and her family spend a day at the beach, digging in the sand, walking on the beach, and playing together. Then they head home where Lucy's mom begins a bedtime story, but falls asleep, tired from their day. Lucy wakes up, wanting her bedtime bear and stuffed animals. This great picture book is filled with expressive narration and evocative illustrations, from Pulitzer Prize winner ...read more

Reviewed by Tina - Central on
October 14, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie

A fun story about names, family, and finding your own place in the world, Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown and Company, 2016) tells a refreshing story paired with beautiful, full page illustrations. Thunder Boy is named after his father – Big Thunder. He loves his dad, but he wants his own name – a name that says something unique about him. Little Thunder thinks of some possibilities . . . he likes playing in dirt, so maybe his name should be “Mud in His Ears” . . . but he also ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
September 30, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of The Slowest Book Ever by April Pulley Sayre

Without reading ahead, what would you guess is the heaviest living thing on the planet?  Would you guess an elephant? A blue whale? Maybe a giant squid? I was surprised to discover that by weight, giant sequoia trees are the biggest thing on Earth.  Giant Sequoias live for about 3,000 years, and at maturity can weigh 2.7 million pounds, as much as eleven full grown blue whales.  Focusing on nature and natural processes, Pulley Sayre invites readers to slow down and learn all ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
September 23, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack

Imagine a precocious young Cleopatra sneaking away from her royal tutor to hang with her pal amidst the Egyptian pyramids. She's having a great time playing hooky when she unexpectedly gets teleported to a future time where she's considered to be the savior of the galaxy. Her education now includes combat training and stun gun target practice and her assignments require flying secret missions on a Sphinx hover craft.  The world building in this series is AWESOME. The instructors at Yasiro ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
September 9, 2016 | 0 comments