MADreads

New Board Books Bim! Bam! Boom!, Frederic StehrWith fresh language, Stehr revisits an activity as old as kitchens and toddlers – the pots and pans band.The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits, Douglas FlorianJoin a family of playful bunnies as they cavort through their day, and then settle in for snuggles at bedtime.Skip to the Loo: a Potty Book, Sally Lloyd-Jones & Anita JeramAll of the animals are using their potties.  This celebration of successful transitioning to using the potty can be sung as well as ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
May 1, 2018 | 0 comments
A review of It's Not Like it's a Secret by Misa Sugira

I tried it, and I liked it! I’m not usually into angsty teen romance novels, but Sugiura provides plenty of layers to this one. Sana is discovering her sexual identity (lesbian), she is discovering her father’s infidelity (he is having an affair of sorts), and at the same time she is struggling with her peers’ racism (she is of Japanese descent), and her own racism (she falls for a Latina girl at her high school and stumbles with her own preconceived beliefs). All of this is a lot for a coming ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
April 13, 2018 | 0 comments
A review of Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Winner of the coveted 2018 Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children, Wolf in the Snow artistically explores themes of moving beyond fear and mistrust of “the other” to a place of caring and helping. Cordell’s watercolor illustrations depict a little girl and a wolf cub who find each other in a blizzard that renders each of them lost ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
April 5, 2018 | 0 comments
A review of Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane Brimner

In 1946 the United States Supreme Court ruled that segregated seating on interstate buses was unconstitutional. Eight years later the 1954 landmark ruling from the Supreme Court in the Brown v. Board of Education declared public school segregation violated the Constitution. And in 1960 the Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation of interstate bus passengers at station restrooms, lunch counters and waiting rooms also violated the law.  Despite these rulings the practice of segregation ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
February 27, 2018 | 0 comments
A review of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes

Earning multiple awards including a Newbery Honor, a Caldecott Honor (for illustration), and Coretta Scott King Honors for writing and for illustration, Crown celebrates one black boy’s experience in the barber’s chair, and how that fresh cut can elevate both self-esteem and self-confidence. James’ realistic illustrations are dazzling, with bold painterly strokes of color, that capture subtle nuances of feeling, character and setting. And Barnes’ words resonate with references to barbers as ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
February 15, 2018 | 0 comments
A review of Volcanoes by Maria Gill

Let’s face it; some kids prefer to read non-fiction.  These are the kids who are fascinated with almanacs and world records books.  If you’ve got one of these kids in your house, check out the new DK findout! non-fiction series for kids.  Aimed at ages eight to twelve, the series titles cover high-interest topics and each installment includes quizzes, photographs, illustrations, and sidebars with expanded explanations, fast facts and interviews with experts.  Each title is ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
October 27, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Billions of Bricks by Kurt Cyrus

Billed as a counting book, Cyrus brings much more to this artful picture book.  We count bricks by ones, fives, tens and twenties.  Readers also learn how bricks and mortar are made, and are treated to the math, science, design and artistry involved in bricklaying.  The rhyming text invites repeated read-alouds. And the photo-realistic illustrations are worth multiple visits as well, with a racially diverse cast of characters that range in age from children to grandparents, all ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
October 20, 2017 | 0 comments
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