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MADreads for Kids

Book reviews for children by library staff and guest contributors

Finding a new home

Cover of The Moon from Dehradun: A
A review of The Moon from Dehradun: A Story of Partition by Shirin Shamsi

Azra and her family are having a regular evening when her father comes racing into their home, saying the whole family must leave immediately. Violence and turmoil have gotten out of control in their part of India because of colonial division wrought by the British. In their haste, they leave behind everything they own, including Azra's beloved doll, Gurya. Will she ever see her again? This story, suitable for elementary school children, sheds light on a time in Indian history that even parents and school teachers might not know a lot about.

Mar 17, 2023

Mow the floor, rock the dishes, bathe the rug?!

Cover of Bathe the Cat
A review of Bathe the Cat by Alice B McGinty, illustrated by David Roberts

Grandma is coming to visit at 2pm, but the house is a mess! Quick, everyone gets assigned their tasks, spelled out on the fridge with brightly colored alphabet magnets. Dad is in charge of dishes and mowing the lawn, Bobby has to mop the floor and rock the baby, Sarah needs to sweep the mat and feed the fish, and Daddy has to mow the lawn and ... bathe the cat.

Mar 14, 2023

Hurry up, and wait

Cover of My Parents Won't Stop Talk
A review of My Parents Won't Stop Talking by Emma Hunsinger and Tillie Walden

Molly is going to the park with her 2 moms and little brother Seth. Molly loves the park!! It’s pretty much her favorite place to go. Her excitement builds as she starts listing a few of the things she can’t wait to do once they get there. As they leave the house Molly is stopped dead in her tracks. Her neighbors the Credenzas have spotted her moms and now they are all going to start talking!! AHHH! This clever picture books is oh so relatable for any parent of a 3-6 year old. A 5 minute conversation with the neighbors can feel like an hours long ride on the boring train for little Molly.

Mar 10, 2023

A sunflower life cycle

Cover of A Seed Grows
A review of A Seed Grows by Antoinette Portis

This picture book about the life cycle of a sunflower is beautiful in its simplicity. Each spread has just a few words - starting with "a seed falls" - accompanied by vibrant illustrations that take the reader from seed to flower and back to seed. A surprise fold out page halfway through mimics the height of a sunflower, and the back matter includes more details about the different parts of a sunflower seed and its plant, as well as what the seed needs to sprout.

Mar 8, 2023

A different shade of blue

Cover of Blue: A History of the Col
A review of Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, Illustrated by Daniel Minter

This books delivers exactly what it promises - a history of the color blue from lapis lazuli stones used by ancient Egyptians, to blue dye pressed from a snail's foot in Mexico, to crushed and dried indigo plants in West Africa and finally a Nobel Prize winning chemical clue created in 1905. Along the way we learn more nuance about the color's complicated history - how blue was used and viewed, the value assigned to it, and the meaning given to it by people all over the world, even today in the language that we use.

Mar 2, 2023

Seeing the magic in each other

Cover of Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn
A review of Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn by Shannon Hale and Lueyen Pham

This adorable picture book series is about feeling like you are one thing when you may look like another. Kitty is sweet and little and fluffy and pink and feels like a unicorn. Nobody else thinks Kitty looks like a unicorn and this makes Kitty very sad. Until she meets a unicorn who thinks they look like a kitty! And so begins a friendship of mutual respect, understanding, and support about recognizing each other for who they are and seeing each other for what they want to be.

Also in this series:

Mar 1, 2023

Celebrating love

Cover of Love, Violet
A review of Love, Violet written by Charlotte Sullivan Wild and illustrated by Charlene Chua

As far as Violet was concerned,
only one person in her class raced like the wind.
Only one had a leaping laugh.
Only one made Violet's heart skip.

Feb 20, 2023

A mostly good fourth-grader

Cover of The Best of Iggy
A review of The Best of Iggy by Annie Barrows

“All of us do things we wish we hadn’t done,” reads the first line of The Best of Iggy. Especially when we are 9 years old. Some things really aren’t so bad… we just wish we hadn’t gotten caught. Some things aren’t so bad… buuuuut we probably shouldn’t have taken things quite so far. But some things. Some things we just really really wish we hadn’t done. Iggy does all of these things, with all the hilarity you might expect. (This is a snort-laugh out loud while reading in public sort of book - be warned!)  But also with the humility and remorse that comes after.

Feb 17, 2023

Learning from those who came before

Cover of The Year We Learned to Fly
A review of The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson Illustrated by Rafael López

From the Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López, creators of The Day You Begin, comes a new story about using your imagination to soar. Stuck inside on a rainy day, two siblings are told by their grandmother to use their minds, to "close your eyes and take a deep breath, and believe in a thing." No longer stuck in their apartment, they soar over the city, each season escaping from their boredom, their arguments, and their loneliness, just as their ancestors who also flew with their beautiful and brilliant minds. 

Feb 15, 2023


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