MADreads for Kids

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
A review of Spot the Cat by Henry Cole

Spot is a cat with a large spot on his back. When Spot sees a bird outside, he leaps out of the apartment window to chase it. Follow his adventures (and the boy who's looking for him) in this wordless picture book. Let's see if you can spot the boy and Spot, the cat, on the intricately-detailed pages. This is a great book for fans of the "Can You See What I See" books by Walter Wick, "I Spy" book series, "Where's Waldo" series, and other picture puzzles. ...read more

Reviewed by Tina - Central on
August 26, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of The Gallery by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

It’s 1929 in NYC, and Martha O’Doyle is convinced there is nothing worse than school. When she gets on her teacher’s last nerve and is expelled, she goes to work with her mother as a maid in a wealthy newspaper magnate’s posh home. Turns out she was wrong. It doesn’t take long for Martha to find some intrigue between all the washing and cleaning and potato peeling. It turns out the master of the house’s wife, Rose, is a recluse. She hasn’t left her bedroom in years. The word around the house, ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
August 23, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Fly Guy presents Bats by Tedd Arnold

For fans of Tedd Arnold’s Fly Guy series, the author has now come out with a series of high-interest non-fiction books.  Bats is filled with some great, general information about bats, lots of quality photographs of different species of bats, and some fast facts about particular species of bats.  This is all wrapped up in a Beginning Reader format which will be great for kids who have experience sounding out words or as a read-with experience with a favorite adult, as the book ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
August 19, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Six Kids and a Stuffed Cat by Gary Paulsen

What would happen if six very different middle school kids were still in the building after school and a storm blew through?  Well, Jordan, Devon, Mason, Taylor, Regan and Avery are about to find out.  The RJ Glavine Middle School students are thrown together by a, perhaps too cautious, school order to seek safety - which they find in the school bathroom.   The kids have some fun, telling jokes and making the stuffed cat into a mummy.  But mostly, they talk to each ...read more

Reviewed by Jennifer on
August 5, 2016 | 0 comments