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MADreads for Kids

Book reviews for children by library staff and guest contributors

A treasure

Cover of Henry, Like Always
A review of Henry, Like Always by Jenn Bailey
Mika Song

Henry, like many children on the neurodivergent spectrum, loves routine. He likes knowing what to expect and things always being the same. But this week isn’t like always. On Friday, there will be a parade. A parade means a change in schedule, loud music, and no share time like always. Henry’s days this week just feel orange - his least favorite color. This sweet book is full of the small ups and downs of kindergarten life, told through Henry’s unique perspective. Follow Henry as he navigates these changes with the help of this teacher and friends to a reassuring conclusion.

Mar 1, 2024

Race against time

Cover of The Infinite
A review of The Infinite by Patience Agbabi

Children born on February 29 are rare, but what if some "Leaplings" could also travel in time? Elle Bíbi-Imbelé Ifíè and her best friend Big Ben are about to find out what happens when the future touches the present, and they'll have to hope their first time-travel won't be their last!
Contemporary and futuristic settings, neurodiverse characters, and time travel add up to a really interesting read for upper elementary readers that may challenge you!

Feb 29, 2024

Warmth and friendship

Cover of Birdsong
A review of Birdsong by Julie Flett

When a young girl moves to a new home, she befriends her elderly neighbor. Together they share a love of crafts and nature. As seasons pass, how will the girl deal with her friend’s failing health? Enjoy the beautiful pictures and backgrounds from award winning illustrator Julie Flett as you settle into this warm story that celebrates inter-generational friendships and finding connection.

A brief glossary and pronunciation guide to Cree-Métis words that appear in the text is provided.

--reviewed by Melissa

Feb 23, 2024

Year of the dragon

Cover of Lunar New Year
A review of Lunar New Year by

Last weekend was the celebration of the Lunar New Year and it is now the Year of the Dragon. How cool is that? For those of you who celebrated and those who want to learn a bit more, here are a couple new favorites of mine.

Feb 16, 2024

They're all about the books

Cover of Books about Bookish People
Books about Bookish People

It's fun to see trends in what books are being published, and recently I've noticed a bunch of new and forthcoming children's books about and inspired by bookish people! Authors, illustrators, editors, and especially librarians. 

Bookish people:

Good Books for Bad Children by Beth Kephart, illustrated by Chloe Bristol - A picture book biography of legendary children's book editor, Ursula Nordstrom. 

Feb 14, 2024

A Party of Honors

Cover of There Was a Party for Lang
A review of There Was a Party for Langston: King o’ Letters by Jason Reynolds
Jerome Pumphrey & Jarrett Pumphery

A new book about an extraordinary word-maker, There Was a Party for Langston: King o’ Letters by Jason Reynolds, brings history to life with poetic language and colorful stamped illustrations. Inspired by a photo of poets Maya Angelou and Amiri Baraka dancing (boogying!) at a party in honor of Langston Hughes, this book captures the creativity of Hughes and his impact on other artists and writers. This legendary party was “A fancy-foot, get-down, all-out bash” and SO GLORIOUS! Because everyone felt the power of Langston’s words.

Feb 9, 2024

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