MADreads

A review of The Amazing Story of Space Travel: a Max Axiom Adventure by Agnieszka Biskup

Meet Max Axiom, Super Scientist.  Max Axiom is the brainy superhero of a series of accessible books about various STEM topics.  Axiom has a complete back-story, like any superhero.  And his superpowers include super intelligence, the ability to shrink to the size of an atom, a lab coat that allows time travel and sunglasses that provide x-ray vision. Written for ages 7 – 12 in a comic book format, the series titles include sound scientific facts and information, great ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
April 21, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant

“Helen Keller compared (Louis) Braille to Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press. Before Gutenberg literacy (reading and writing) belonged to a select few. Millions of people were for the most part left out. But then came the printing press and suddenly everyone had access to books… The same is true for Louis’ invention: before Braille the blind were shut off from reading and writing. The Braille system changed all that.” Six Dots, winner of the 2017 Schneider Family Book Award ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
January 27, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe

Javaka Steptoe’s Radiant Child garnered both the 2017 Randolph Caldecott Medal and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator award, a first for any children’s book in the history of the awards. Evoking Jean-Michel Basquiat’s art with his own work, Steptoe uses a similarly bright color palette and found objects including salvaged wood pieces for his canvas. Radiant Child is a wonderful exploration of a brilliant artist’s beginnings by another brilliant artist. ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
January 25, 2017 | 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 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 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 Through the town by Craig Shuttlewood

All board books are not created for baby’s first year.  Sometimes picture books simply get put into board book format because they are popular as picture books.  But for parents of toddlers, the 14 month-olds to 3 year-olds, some of these board books are great. Through the Town is one of these and really hits the sweet spot.  Very young children can trace the tactile, thick line provided through the book to develop the muscles in their eyes, to learn that when we read in English ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
July 29, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of The Mixed-Up Truck by Stephen Savage

Cement mixer is new to the construction biz and gets his wires crossed.  The other trucks ask him to mix up some powdery white cement for the project.  Cement mixer proceeds to mix up powdery white flour, then some powdery white sugar.  Voila! He makes a cake!  But the trucks keep advising cement mixer, who finally gets just the right ingredients for a building.  Savage’s simple shapes and flat colors are perfect for the very youngest truck enthusiasts. But don’t be ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
July 22, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of What in the World: Numbers in Nature by Nancy Raines Day

This unique counting and concept book is a beautifully illustrated excursion into the natural world that invites readers to count sets of things. “What comes one by one? A nose. A mouth. The moon. The sun.”  Realistically rendered illustrations provide a close-up view of the things being counted, five starfish cluster on a wet rock at the beach, with the foaming wave receding on a sandy beach, barnacles, sand dollars and sea shells all around. Kurt Cyrus (Tadpole Rex and The Voyage of ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
June 17, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of One Word From Sophia by Jim Averbeck

Little Sophia has a birthday coming up and she only wants one thing – a pet giraffe.  Unfortunately for Sophia she has four obstacles – her mother who is a judge, her father who is a businessman, her Uncle Conrad who is a politician and her Grand-mama who is very strict.  So Sophie plans her strategy to win over each member of her family – she presents her case to her mother “Giraffes are legal in all fifty states.” She creates a business plan for her father – apparently giraffe poop ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
May 20, 2016 | 0 comments