Back to top

MADreads

Posts by Janelle C

Traveling through the pages

Cover of The Tree and the River
A review of The Tree and the River by Aaron Becker

In this wordless book, the illustrations take the reader through time. From a wild past where people shared the land with animals, to a future full of lights, tall buildings, and more people than animals, two things remain constant: a proud tree and the river that runs past it. Eventually, destruction befalls the city, but the river and the tree work together to create a new beginning.

Nov 3, 2023

Finding a new home

Cover of The Moon from Dehradun: A
A review of The Moon from Dehradun: A Story of Partition by Shirin Shamsi

Azra and her family are having a regular evening when her father comes racing into their home, saying the whole family must leave immediately. Violence and turmoil have gotten out of control in their part of India because of colonial division wrought by the British. In their haste, they leave behind everything they own, including Azra's beloved doll, Gurya. Will she ever see her again? This story, suitable for elementary school children, sheds light on a time in Indian history that even parents and school teachers might not know a lot about.

Mar 17, 2023

Fathers and their kids

Cover of Juna and Appa
A review of Juna and Appa by Jane Park

Juna has a big imagination, and it runs wild, even while she's helping her Appa (father) at his dry cleaning business on Saturdays. While searching for one of her Appa's clients' lost jackets, her imagination takes her on a journey through nature where she meets animals who are also fathers that are spending time with their children.

Nov 11, 2022

Shhhh!

Cover of Be Quiet!
A review of Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins

In Be Quiet! Rupert, a mouse, wants to create his very own wordless book. His friends are game, but unfortunately, they won't stop talking about it, filling the book with more and more words and making Rupert more and more frustrated. This book is hilarious, introduces some wonderful vocabulary, and takes advantage of every part of the book, from the cover to the endpapers. It's perfect for elementary school-aged children.

Sep 16, 2022

Through the eyes of love

Cover of I am Golden
A review of I am Golden by Eva Chen

Written and illustrated by Chinese-Americans whose parents came from China and raised them in the United States, I am Golden celebrates the heritage behind the Chinese-American experience. With poetic language and colorful, captivating imagery, Mei's story is shared with us through the eyes of her immigrant parents. This is a loving, encouraging book with additional photographs and backstories about the author and illustrator at the end.

Jul 1, 2022

Musa's turn to pick

Cover of Halal Hot Dogs
A review of Halal Hot Dogs by Susannah Aziz

In Halal Hot Dogs, we follow Musa, a young Muslim boy, through his life from the vantage point of the meals his family eats. This is a fun, rollicking story filled with laughter, dancing, and delicious food. The illustrations are done in bold, bright colors that create a visual feast for the eyes. It also introduces a good deal of Arabic vocabulary.

Mar 11, 2022

All Aboard for Fun!

Cover of Old Tracks, New Tricks
A review of Old Tracks, New Tricks by Jessica Peterson

Wooden train tracks are good for more than just trains, and this story proves it. It's told in rhyme, with a combination of text boxes and word balloons, and illustrated with colorful photos. The train tracks and toy trains themselves can speak, and the tracks prove to the trains that they have lots of different uses. There's a bonus section at the end showing how you, too, can recreate the fun experiences shown in the book. This is a great STEM read that should inspire lots of play and creativity.

Nov 13, 2020

Make Music!

Cover of Play This Book
A review of Play This Book by Jessica Young

With a musical rhyme scheme, big, bold illustrations, and a colorful cast of children, Play this Book is a fun, energetic read to cozy up with. Little ones are invited to play along with the instruments on each page. Great for toddlers and preschoolers.

Dec 7, 2018