MADreads

A review of Good Night Owl by Greg Pizzoli

A silly story about an owl who hears a “squeak” somewhere in his house – but, where is it coming from?! In Good Night Owl (Disney/Hyperion, 2016) readers get the inside scoop through the humorous illustrations, while the owl tries to figure things out. He empties out the cupboards, takes up the floorboards, and – even – tears down the roof! Finally he is ready to go to sleep under the wide open sky . . . Greg Pizzoli’s text and illustrations are a perfect match - and the humor is sure to tickle ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
November 28, 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 Bear and Hare – Where’s Bear? by Emily Gravett

A humorous take on hide-and-seek for your favorite toddler or preschooler! Bear and Hare – Where’s Bear?  by Emily Gravett (Simon & Schuster, 2016) shows Hare in search of Bear. (Hare counts each time before he begins to search . . . a fun counting activity to do with your child as you read the book aloud!) The silly places Bear tries to hide will make your little one laugh – and you, too! This simple tale ends with a bit of a twist and, then, a satisfying conclusion. The softly drawn ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
June 3, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Apes-a-Go-Go! by Roman Milisic

Laugh your socks off with this fun read! In Roman Milisic’s book, Apes-a-Go-Go! (Alred A. Knopf, 2014), a tidy little town has just one thing out of place: a flower had grown taller than all the rest. “Bah! That pesky flower,” complains the town’s mayor. Enter the first great ape, who attempts to pluck the flower out. In turn, trampling the rest of the flower bed! Then comes the parade of great apes to help out – Mucky Great Ape, Sopping Great Ape, Thumping Great Ape, and more. Each one bumbles ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
April 29, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin

Looking for a way to help your child find their own quiet place in a busy, noisy, clambering world? Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin (Plum Blossom Books, 2015) takes a gentle look at how to find quiet and peacefulness inside your own self.  Charlotte, the young protagonist in the story, lives in a noisy house, a noisy neighborhood, and a noisy school. She has trouble finding one spot that’s quiet and peaceful. Then, one day while she’s walking her dog, she finds a place in ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
December 11, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Yard Sale by Eve Bunting

Sometimes a yard sale can mean discovering marvelous treasures, fun times with parents or loved ones, or simply a summer day activity. But for Callie, the young protagonist in Yard Sale by Eve Bunting (Candlewick, 2015), it means that she has to give away all of her beloved things and move to a small apartment. Callie watches as a lady buys her bed “with crayon marks on it” and sees a man loading up her favorite red bike onto his truck. In Callie, we see (and feel) the heartache of leaving ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
September 4, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Spots in a Box by Helen Ward

What’s a guinea fowl to do with no spots? Ask for some, of course! In Spots in a Box by Helen Ward (Candlewick Press, 2015), a spotless bird writes a letter requesting some spots. He gets big spots, and little spots, bright spots, and connect-the-dot spots, fancy spots, and - even - not-spots! The humorous illustrations are a perfect combination to the words. The reader sees the guinea fowl try out all sorts of spots – with cardboard boxes, colorful dots, and packaging materials scattered ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
July 3, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Sparky! by Jenny Offill

A bird? A bunny? A trained seal? A young girl wants the perfect pet . . . however, her mother says no to all of these ideas. In fact, she says no to any pet that needs to be “walked or bathed or fed”. What’s a girl to do? Do research, find a pet that fits those criteria, and mail order one – of course! In Sparky! by Jenny Offill (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2014) the mail ordered pet turns out to be a sloth. A hang-from-the-tree, do-not-much-of-anything, except-if-it’s-really-really-slowly, kind ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
March 6, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life by Lois Ehlert

Open up this lovely and colorful picture book about author and illustrator Lois Ehlert! The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life (Beach Lane Books, 2013) reads like a personal journal or memory book, with the added benefit of having Ehlert’s own stunning artwork, personal jottings, and inspirations filling every page. We get to see a yellowed photo of her parents after a trek to hunt wild asparagus. We get a peek at her folk art and fishing lure collection – we see mock-ups of some of her ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
December 19, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller

A sweet story about a girl and her friend – who just happens to be a butternut squash! Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2013) is a fun read aloud with simple and humorous illustrations. I loved watching Sophie tuck Bernice (the squash) in at night and bring her to story time at the library. “Well, we did hope she’d love vegetables,” her parents concede. However, they still try to convince her to exchange the squash for another toy. A truck? ( ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
September 12, 2014 | 0 comments