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MADreads for Kids

Book reviews for children by library staff and guest contributors

Drawing your own reality

Cover of Dog Loves Drawing
A review of Dog Loves Drawing by Louise Yates

Adventure and new friends abound in Dog Loves Drawing by Louise Yates. Dog gets a brand new sketchbook from his dear Aunt Dora. “Dog knew exactly what to do. . .“ He begins his own story! With pencil in hand, he draws a door and steps through. He is joined by a stickman, duck, owl, and crab. Of course, they decide to ride a train and, then, set sail on a boat to a sandy island. The sketched illustrations fit well with the storyline. Soft colors and spare lines add to the gentle feel of the book.

Sep 13, 2019

The authors are coming

WBF graphic
Wisconsin Book Festival

Enjoy Wisconsin Book Festival events all year round! Several incredible authors are headed your way in September, so make plans to join us.

Plus save the date for the 4-day festival October 17-20, 2019. The complete list of events can be found at wisconsinbookfestival.org.

All Wisconsin Book Festival events are free and open to the public, no tickets or registration required. 

Sep 4, 2019

Vets with a little something extra

Cover of Hex Vet: Witches in Traini
A review of Hex Vet: Witches in Training by Samantha Davies and Mike Fiorentino

What could be cuter than young witches training to be vets? Magical pets, that's what!

Nan and Clarion are apprenticed to veterinarian witches at Willows Whisper Veterinary Practice and things get a little wild when one of the supernatural creatures unexpectedly hypnotizes all animals within its gaze. It's up to the two apprentices to restore order to the clinic.

Aug 16, 2019

Moving on

Cover of Yard Sale
A review of Yard Sale by Eve Bunting

Sometimes a yard sale can mean discovering marvelous treasures, fun times with parents or loved ones, or simply a summer day activity. But for Callie, the young protagonist in Yard Sale by Eve Bunting, it means that she has to give away all of her beloved things and move to a small apartment. Callie watches as a lady buys her bed “with crayon marks on it” and sees a man loading up her favorite red bike onto his truck. In Callie, we see (and feel) the heartache of leaving behind the much-loved and the familiar.

Aug 9, 2019

Korean Heroine explores the Universe

Cover of Dragon Pearl
A review of Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

Dragon Pearl by Korean-American author, Yoon Ha Lee stars a plucky 13-year old fox spirit named Min.  She usually appears as a human girl, but she can transform herself into pretty much anything and has the ability to throw Charm at others to nudge them and their moods in the direction she's hoping for.  She also happens to be a master mechanic willing to go to the ends of the universe to find out what happened to her beloved older brother who disappeared during his Space Forces training tour.

Aug 1, 2019

Time for Bed!

Cover of Tickle My Ears
A review of Tickle My Ears by Jorg Muhle

It is bedtime and little rabbit has much to do to get ready for bed, so he needs the reader’s help.  Toddlers tap, clap, fluff (a pillow), and even give rabbit a kiss to help him through his bedtime ritual.  This is just one of the Little Rabbit series that is sure to be popular with young readers. Other titles in this interactive board book series are Bathtime for Little Rabbit, and Poor Little Rabbit

Jul 19, 2019

Once upon a dog

Cover of Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker
A review of Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker by Jessica Ahlberg

I grew up loving the work of Janet and Allan Ahlberg, so I was thrilled when I discovered Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker – a picture book written and illustrated by their daughter, Jessica Ahlberg. This cumulative story follows Lucy and her dog, Mr. Barker, through a series of fairy tales.

Jul 10, 2019

Animals Everywhere

Cover of City Critters
A review of City Critters by Antonia Banyard

This photo-illustrated book encourages the youngest readers to pay attention to the natural world that surrounds them in their urban neighborhoods.  Animals such as squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks and ducks are featured with young toddlers close by.  Because the featured animals are common enough to spot while out and about, this book provides an opportunity for parents to help toddlers to make connections between the book world and the real world.

May 23, 2019

A Foiled Plot

Cover of The Eye That Never Sleeps
A review of The Eye That Never Sleeps by Marissa Moss

Based on a little known plot by secessionists to ambush and kill Abraham Lincoln on his way to Washington D.C. before he could be sworn in as president. This fantastically illustrated picture book tells the story of Allen Pinkerton, one of America’s greatest detectives. From humble beginnings to forming Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency (whose eyeball logo inspired the term “private eye.”) This book takes us on a historical journey using a graphic novel style.

May 16, 2019

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