MADreads for Kids

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
A review of Violet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot by Anna Branford

If you grew up loving the Ramona Quimby books and are looking for something similar (but with more illustrations and less words), allow me to introduce you to Miss Violet Mackerel. There are four books currently published about her adventures, and each one is charming and heart-warming, but not sickly-sweet or unrealistic. Violet sometimes learns hard lessons about how the world works, but she does so within the gentle care of her family life. Violet herself has a strong character, but she is ...read more

Reviewed by Carissa - Alicia Ashman on
April 25, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Chi's Sweet Home by Kanata Konami

Guess what?!? Garfield is going to be 36 years old! And he's still a star. Garfield Souped Up: His 57th Book was published earlier this year and I'm sure there's more Jon, Odie and lasagna in store for us in the future. Don't get me wrong, Garfield is still my gold standard of cat comedy, but I'd like to take a little time to introduce you to (or remind you of) some newer, more global kitties. Two of these felines ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
April 8, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Hades and the Helm of Darkness by Joan Holub

Young Zeus and his buddies are standing by the sludgiest, stinkiest river in the world when boiling hot steam suddenly blasts their behinds--"Yeowch!" To find the Helm of Darkness, our heroes will have to win their way past talking skeletons, crockydeads and a three-headed dog. Wait a minute, what is a Helm of Darkness anyway? And why did Poseidon suddenly forget that he has a right foot AND a left foot? Oh brother, this quest is not going to be easy! Lots of action and plenty of puns make ...read more

Reviewed by Abby on
April 4, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The Great Trouble by Deborah Hopkinson

The Great Trouble is the best kind of historical fiction. It tells the story of a real event, the 1854 London cholera outbreak, through the eyes of a fictional thirteen year old boy, Eel. Eel is a likable protagonist with a secret and a story of his own. He is a mudlark, sifting through the muck of the Thames river for things to sell. He supplements his income by doing odd jobs around his neighborhood and beyond. One of those jobs is cleaning the animal cages of the great Dr. John Snow ...read more

Reviewed by Jill O on
March 28, 2014 | 3 comments
A review of On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne

Ah, wondrous science! On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne is a sparse yet brilliant picture book biography that will engage and inspire young readers. The book begins with baby Einstein, who didn’t utter a single word for a very long time. He just watches and wonders at the world around him. When he begins school, his teachers think him strange. But Albert was always pondering numbers, light, and space . . . His wonderings led to many amazing scientific ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
March 21, 2014 | 0 comments
Always Be a Unicorn
A review of Always Be a Unicorn by Helen Austin

If the Ditty Bops ever start looking for a third band member, Helen Austin would be perfect for the job. Like their music, hers is twinkly-smooth and happy, even the slow songs. Her lyrics are delightfully whimsical (the title song quips, “Always be yourself/but if you can be a unicorn/always be a unicorn”) and the tunes are so catchy you’ll easily begin to sing along, even on the first or second time hearing the album. And yet, despite their apparent simplicity, the songs stay fresh even after ...read more

Reviewed by Carissa - Alicia Ashman on
March 7, 2014 | 1 comment
A review of Baby Wants Mama by Nancy Loewen

Everyone in the family, from Baby to Mama to Pup, wants something at dinnertime in this sweet, simple story. Short sentences and a relatable situation make this a perfect read aloud for toddlers who need quick reads, and the repetition and rhyme makes it a good choice for beginning readers, as well. Baby wants Mama -- and a good book, too! ...read more

Reviewed by Krissy on
February 28, 2014 | 0 comments