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MADreads

Posts by Karen L

Perfect family read-aloud

Cover of Echo Mountain
A review of Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

I don’t often re-visit the children’s books I’ve read, but Echo Mountain is worth taking a second dip. In 1930’s post-depression era Maine Ellie is the middle child of a white family displaced by the depression that moved to the mountains to start fresh. Ellie’s father has been in a coma after an accident for which Ellie has been silently (and mistakenly) blamed by her elder sister and her mother. The family has been in survival mode ever since, with both Ellie’s mother and older sister fervently wishing to return to the town they left.

Jun 25, 2020

Double award winner

Cover of The Undefeated
A review of The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Alexander and Nelson garnered multiple awards with their moving ode to African Americans throughout US History. Shining a spotlight on artists, athletes and activists, The Undefeated has been recognized with two prestigious medals for Nelson’s illustration, the Caldecott Medal and the Coretta Scott King Medal for illustration, in addition to a Newbery Honor award in recognition of Kwame Alexander’s distinguished writing.

Jan 30, 2020

Time for Bed!

Cover of Tickle My Ears
A review of Tickle My Ears by Jorg Muhle

It is bedtime and little rabbit has much to do to get ready for bed, so he needs the reader’s help.  Toddlers tap, clap, fluff (a pillow), and even give rabbit a kiss to help him through his bedtime ritual.  This is just one of the Little Rabbit series that is sure to be popular with young readers. Other titles in this interactive board book series are Bathtime for Little Rabbit, and Poor Little Rabbit

Jul 19, 2019

Animals Everywhere

Cover of City Critters
A review of City Critters by Antonia Banyard

This photo-illustrated book encourages the youngest readers to pay attention to the natural world that surrounds them in their urban neighborhoods.  Animals such as squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks and ducks are featured with young toddlers close by.  Because the featured animals are common enough to spot while out and about, this book provides an opportunity for parents to help toddlers to make connections between the book world and the real world.

May 23, 2019

I Talk to You, and You Talk to Me

Cover of Baby Talk
A review of Baby Talk by Stella Blackstone

This book is full of close-ups of a variety of baby/parent experiences – with babies and parents playing, singing, cuddling, holding, reading and more.  The text is so simple, yet it reveals so much about quality time with baby and how to help baby develop language skills and learn about what’s known as the “serve and return” of conversation. “I love you, and you love me. I talk to you, and you talk to me.”  This is definitely a highly recommended choice.

Apr 11, 2019

Keeping the light on

Cover of Hello Lighthouse
A review of Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall

Sophie Blackall has won the Caldecott Medal for her incredible ode to lighthouses and the extraordinary lives of lighthouse keepers and their families. Blackall has illustrated such a broad range of books for children, including a board book featuring a GLBT family, the chapter book series, Ivy & Bean, and picture books about wild boars who go out to dinner, an

Jan 29, 2019

All Hail the Snail!

Cover of Escargot
A review of Escargot by Dashka Slater

He’s my new favorite animal, this snail who hails from France.  From his beret, red scarf and blue and white striped shirt, down to his trail of “shimmery stuff.” From his speedy race across a checked tablecloth to reach the delicious salad with very specific ingredients, “a salad with croutons and light vinaigrette and absolutely no carrots,” to his sad realization that no one chooses snails as their favorite animal.  I love this intrepid little character who invites readers to make fierce faces with him to scare away carrots, race him to the salad, and give him a kiss.

Dec 21, 2018

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