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MADreads for Kids

Book reviews for children by library staff and guest contributors

Art comes to life

Cover of Anna at the Art Museum
A review of Anna at the Art Museum by Hazel Hutchins
Anna is BORED. The museum is full of stuffy art, and all the fun things one can do to stay occupied - like climbing on the kids stuff, and eating one's afternoon snack - are strictly forbidden and enforced by the museum security guard. But then Anna is let in on a little secret at the museum, and everything changes. 
 
Nov 18, 2020

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

Alligators, bears, and chickens, oh my!

Cover of Little Red Cat Who Ran Awa
A review of Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned his ABC's (the Hard Way) by Patrick McDonnell

Grab your running shoes - we are off!  A little red cat sees an open front door, runs out, and the adventure begins. He is chased by an alligator, then a bear and a chicken - in that order. This nearly wordless book it so much fun on a couple of different levels. Each page has a letter, both the upper and lower case, and a delightful picture the relates to the letter. The reader has to figure out what word is being illustrated. But your job is not done there, you also have to figure out the plot of the book. Plot in an ABC book? Yes, there is a definite story to this book.

Nov 6, 2020

A Very Punny Graphic Chapter Book

Cover of All Paws on Deck
A review of All Paws on Deck by Jessica Young

Haggis (a Scottish Terrier) and Tank (a Great Dane) are two very imaginative doggy friends.  They spend most of their time in a back yard, but sometimes they go on adventures in their minds.  In “All Paws on Deck” Tank decides to deck out their little red wagon as a pirate ship.  They sail off into a land of make-believe and have many adventures together!  The format for this book falls right between graphic novel (there are lots of full-color illustrations with speech bubbles) and chapter book (there are also blocks of text, though never more than a quarter of the space on a page is filled

Oct 30, 2020

Find Out!

Cover of Volcanoes
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.

Sep 18, 2020

Bluebells in bloom

Cover of White Bird: A Wonder Story
A review of White Bird: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio

White Bird is a stunning graphic novel about one of the ugliest events in history. Set in France during World War II, White Bird tells the story of Sara and Julien, classmates at a rural school in a Nazi occupied village. Sara doesn't want to get her beautiful red shoes wet when all of the Jewish students are rounded up and marched to the woods one day. She's able to sneak away and hide without understanding what's happening.

Sep 14, 2020

Oh to have an exploding egg, or two

Cover of The Cat, the Dog, Little R
A review of The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf, and Grandma by Diane Fox

Cat would like to read a simple story about a little girl who wears a redhood and takes a basket of goodies to her grandmother’s house. At least that’s what Cat is trying to do. Dog has other ideas. And questions. Lots of questions. What’s the little girl’s superhero power? After all she is wearing a cape. Does she hypnotize bad guys? Why doesn’t the wolf eat little red riding hood in the woods? Does little red have a Kindness Ray? Are the eggs in the basket exploding eggs? In fact Dog is driving Cat to distraction.

Aug 7, 2020

What's in the book?

Cover of Open this Little Book
A review of Open this Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier

If you and your little ones love books, Open This Little Book is the perfect choice. It's a story within a story, a book within a book -- and it's all a lot of fun! Madison native, Jesse Klausmeier, along with illustrator-extraordinaire Suzy Lee, have created an imaginative and exciting picture book that will have your kids asking to read it again and again (really -- my three year old had to read it four times in a row the first day we brought it home from the library). But what's inside the book? You'll have to check it out and find out for yourself!

Jul 31, 2020

Colette is missing

Cover of Tornado Brain
A review of Tornado Brain by Cat Patrick

Neurodiverse thirteen-year-old Frankie has more than her share of challenges. She is learning to cope with multiple issues and manage her impulses. Meanwhile, Frankie’s twin sister, Tess, is handling the challenges of having a neurodiverse sibling.

Jul 10, 2020

A bothersome dilemma

Cover of Scandalous Sisterhood of P
A review of Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

What are seven young ladies to do when the headmistress and her brother abruptly falls over dead during dinner? They don't want to go back to their homes and there may be a killer amongst them. The solution: bury the corpses in the garden and dress up one of the students as their headmistress. The mystery thickens as the young ladies, each with her own unique characteristic, tries to keep up this farce and deal with meddling neighbors, a lovestruck admiral, long-lost relatives, and inquisitive constables.

Jul 3, 2020

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