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MADreads for Kids

Book reviews for children by library staff and guest contributors

Courage Over Fear

Cover of I Am (Not) Scared
A review of I Am (Not) Scared by Anna Kang

Anna Kang's fuzzy purple and brown creatures from You Are (Not) Small and That's (Not) Mine ​are back in this silly and delightful picture book about facing your fears. There are a lot of things to be scared of out there: tubs of hairy spiders, pits of lava, or (eeek!) snakes! But not a roller coaster! Roller coasters are fun! Uh oh, until there is a snake riding on the coaster with you... However, our two brave friends still hop on the coaster for a hilariously illustrated adventure. I love how this book ends.

Oct 13, 2021

Forever Fall

Cover of Bella's Fall Coat
A review of Bella's Fall Coat by Lynn Plourde

It's fall! And Bella, like so many four and five year olds, CANNOT sit still. All she wants to do is be outside. She whirls and twirls and crinkles and crackles in the leaves, she stretches and reaches, picks and plucks fall apples, but her favorite fall coat is becoming too small. Thanks goodness for grandmas. This beautifully illustrated picture book will have your toddler whirling and twirling with it's vivid language, but also might help start a conversation about how sadly, not all things like favorite coats and seasons last for ever.

Sep 24, 2021

A part of the movement, a part of the history, a part of the change

Cover of We are Still Here! Native
A review of We are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know by Traci Sorell and illustrated by Frané Lessec

Twelve topics related to Native Americans' experiences are represented in this picture book designed as a student information fair. The story starts in a classroom with students signing up for ten-minute long presentations. Topics range from assimilation and allotment to relocation, the Indian New Deal and language revival. In the subsequent pages, each topic receives a full spread illustration depicting the topic during the time period in which it took place, always ending with the words, "We are still here!"

Sep 14, 2021

Different, with love

Cover of Mila Has Two Beds
A review of Mila Has Two Beds by Judith Koppens

Mila Has Two Beds shares a story familiar to many children – going between two houses and two parents. Mila says goodbye to “Sweet Daddy” and her dog, Pepper, and returns to the “Mommy-house” and “smiling Mommy”. The illustrations are drenched in color and show happy and cozy scenes and each parent’s house. Mila has a different bed, a different toothbrush, and a different bedtime routine at each house. Even the goodnight wishes are different: “Good night, my darling,” says her Mommy, and “Nighty-night, little princess,” says her Daddy.

Sep 10, 2021

Singing to the sky

Cover of I Sang You Down from the S
A review of I Sang You Down from the Stars by Tasha Spillett-Sumner

This is a beautiful book from an Indigenous author/illustrator collaboration.

Through heartfelt text the author shares the anticipation and joy of a mother waiting for the birth of a child. Through the course of the patient months, the mother gathers meaningful elements form nature to create a medicine bundle for her child. Following the birth, the mother recognizes that the new baby is a medicine bundle for herself and for the community.

Sep 1, 2021

True life adventure

Cover of All Thirteen: The Incredib
A review of All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team by Cristina Soontornvat

On June 23, 2018 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach departed on what was to be an afternoon of cave exploration. However, due to sudden flooding rains, it became an ordeal for the team, their families, the rescuers and the people of Thailand. This ordeal lasted 17 days. Between the efforts of military members, civilians and volunteers from all over the globe, all 13 team members were rescued. It was a rescue that should not have been successful, but miraculously was.

Aug 20, 2021

A Snapshot of history

Cover of Jazz Day
A review of Jazz Day by Roxane Orgill

Have you ever looked a group picture and wondered what was happening as the shot was captured? Well, Roxane Orgill’s Jazz Day does just that, and more. The photograph Harlem 1958 is now famous for picturing 57 jazz musicians in Harlem on August 12, 1958. Photographer Art Kane called for any and all jazz musicians to gather for the picture and Jazz Day places you in the midst of it all through 21 poems.

Aug 16, 2021

Chilling on a summer day

Cover of Paletero Man
A review of Paletero Man by Lucky Diaz

Latin Grammy award-winner, Lucky Diaz, has written a tribute to his childhood LA neighborhood. On a hot summer day in LA, a young boy grabs his money and heads off down the street to find the Paletero Man, with his cart full of frozen treats, colorful paletas in so many flavors. Following the cart’s “Ring Ring,” the boy runs along, passing his friends’ food carts, the bike shop, the park and more, and treating readers to a beautiful day in his neighborhood. Alas, he is unaware that he is dropping his money along the way.

Jul 26, 2021

Refugee Life

Cover of Where will I live?
A review of Where will I live? by Rosemary A. McCarney

People all over the world are often forced to leave their homes. Sometimes they leave because of war, hunger, or disaster. Sometimes they leave to find better opportunities. But the question that comes next is always “Where Will I Live?” In this photo-story children from all over the world are depicted as they leave their old homes and journey to find new ones. No matter where someone comes from we all need the same things: a place to sleep, food to eat, and someone to love us.

Jul 15, 2021

Historias con elementos de suspenso / Stories with a twist

Un Zorro book cover
A review of Un Zorro: Un libro (de miedo) para contar by Kate Read

Este libro sencillo cuenta de uno hasta diez, con un sentimiento de suspenso aumentando mientras un zorro hambriento se acerca a las gallinas, y la conclusión sorprendente me hizo reír! Perfecto para leer con niños de 2-5 años, y a niños más grandes les gustará imaginar sus propias historias con elementos de suspenso.


Jul 9, 2021


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