MADreads

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
A review of A Splash of Red by Jennifer Bryant

Add some color to your life and check out A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant. This colorful picture book celebrates the life of artist Horace Pippin. The book chronicles his life as a young boy growing up in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Then on through working in a rail yard, on a farm, serving in World War II, and – then - returning home, marrying, and settling down. Throughout his life, he drew picture after picture for those around him. In spite of a ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
January 3, 2014 | 1 comment
A review of The Feelings Book by Lynda Madison

Whoa! A book to help better understand the emotional rollercoaster of tween-and-teen-hood! The Feelings Book: The Care & Keeping of Your Emotions by Dr. Lynda Madison is written for girls working their way through the many emotions and feelings of adolescence. The book incorporates real questions and letters written by girls. The colorfully illustrated pages are engaging and have a cozy, comfortable feel. Some of the topics covered in the book include identifying emotions and ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
December 6, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of Dog Loves Drawing by Louise Yates

Adventure and new friends abound in Dog Loves Drawing by Louise Yates. Dog gets a brand new sketchbook from his dear Aunt Dora. “Dog knew exactly what to do. . .“ He begins his own story! With pencil in hand, he draws a door and steps through. He is joined by a stickman, duck, owl, and crab. Of course, they decide to ride a train and, then, set sail on a boat to a sandy island. The sketched illustrations fit well with the storyline. Soft colors and spare lines add to the gentle feel of ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
September 27, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of A Home for Bird by Philip Christian Stead

In A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead, cheerful Vernon meets a new friend, Bird. Bird is very quiet (and actually does not talk at all!) but that doesn’t discourage dutiful Vernon. He shows Bird the river and the forest . . . and other animal friends. But Vernon worries that Bird is unhappy. Is he lost? Does he want to go home? Vernon rigs up a small boat and they set sail to find Bird’s home. They meet a family of birds near a dumpster, a bird in a birdhouse, and plastic flamingos ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
June 28, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of Forget-me-nots by Mary Ann Hoberman

Ready for some rollicking and roaring word play? Check out Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart by Mary Ann Hoberman for some unforgettable poems. This is a wonderful treasury for elementary school kids. The poems are joyful and include bright and colorful illustrations by Michael Emberley. The book has 123 poems by 57 authors (ranging from A.A. Milne to Shel Silverstein to Valerie Worth, and many more phenomenal poets). It is also a great book for reading aloud! Explore other ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
April 19, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of Guyku by Bob Raczka

In honor of National Poetry Month, join the fun and check out a creative collection of haiku, especially for boys! In Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys by Bob Raczka and Peter H. Reynolds, we read through the seasons as boys catch grasshoppers, make zipping and clanking bikes, and wait expectantly for snow days. Illustrations are sparse and match the text of each haiku. Many will make you smile, such as: “If this puddle could/talk, I think it would tell me/to splash my sister,” or, “I ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
April 5, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of Penny and Her Song by Kevin Henkes

In Penny and Her Song by Kevin Henkes, Penny wants to share her new song with Mama, but she can’t, because she might wake the babies. She wants to share it with Papa, but she can’t, because she might wake the babies. She tries to sing it to herself but needs a better audience. She tries to sing to her glass animal toys, but gets distracted. Will she ever get a chance to share her beautiful new song? Yes! Finally after supper, she sings the song all the way through to her whole family. ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
February 1, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of A Long Piece of String by William Wondriska

Where will it go? This wordless picture book follows a thin black string over, around, under and over many things . . . including an alligator, bird, castle, dog, elephant, flower, and more. Do you see a pattern? While it is whimsical in approach, by the end we discover it is also an alphabet book! “A” is for alligator, “B” for bird, “C” is for castle, and so forth. Originally published in 1963, A Long Piece of String by William Wondriska has a vintage feel. The crisp and clean ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
March 9, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett

A colorful story about friendship for young readers! In Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett, a young chameleon hopes to find a friend. He first meets a banana and tries a cautious “Hi.” He even turns yellow to match the banana’s peel. The banana does not respond. He then meets a cockatoo and tries again: “Hello, Hello, Hello.” He even turns a soft shade of pink to match the cockatoo’s feathers. The cockatoo looks back with disdain. The little chameleon meets many other objects and ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
February 3, 2012 | 0 comments