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MADreads for Kids

Book reviews for children by library staff and guest contributors

Ouch!

Cover of The Boo-Boos that Changed
A review of The Boo-Boos that Changed the World by Barry Wittenstein

Earlier today I cut my finger and put on a band aid. And then this book showed up on my hold shelf - coincidence? Back in 1917, a young couple is married and the wife seems to hurt herself with great frequency. I didn't really care for the descriptions of her injuries, both for the yuck factor, and rather condescending manner Josephine is talked about. But, if you can make it past that, this is a rather interesting story. The husband, Earle, has the idea to place small pieces of sterile gauze on a long piece of adhesive tape and then Josephine can put on a bandage easily by herself.

Can-Do Panda

Cover of Chengdu Can Do
A review of Chengdu Can Do Chengdu Can Do by Barney Saltzberg

Chengdu is back! Barney Saltzberg’s adorable panda from Chengdu could not, would not, fall asleep can do so many things all by himself. He can jump! Push, pull, climb, stretch, swing… but he just can’t quite reach the tasty bamboo at the top of the tree. Just like all little pandas, there are some times when Chengdu can also use a little help.

A Celebration of Girls

Cover of I Am Enough
A review of I Am Enough by Grace Byers

A beautiful picture book celebrating girls! Simple text, "Like the sun, I'm here to shine. Like the voice, I am here to sing," make the book accessible to preschool aged children. The use of similes make it something that early elementary school students will enjoy and can think of wonderful things to compare themselves to. The main character and a diverse mix of friends are shown singing, playing, studying, and even falling and getting back up again. Some of the rhymes don't quite work, but the book still has a lovely message of love, helping, and celebrating who you are.

For the young "Hamilton" fan

Cover of Sophia's war : a tale of t
A review of Sophia's war : a tale of the Revolution by Avi

Newberry Medalist, Avi, writes a gripping story of the American Revolutionary War through the eyes of Sophia Calderwood.  Sophia, a well-educated young lady, lives with her parents in British occupied New York.  Her beloved older brother is a captured soldier in the Continental Army and her parents are secretly committed to the cause of the American Patriots.  Sophia, herself an ardent Patriot, wants nothing more than to help the cause and free her brother from a horrific British prison.  She is enlisted as a spy; however, the plot she uncovers is almost too outrageous to believe!  Can Soph

Starting Over

Cover of The Ethan I was Before
A review of The Ethan I was Before by Ali Standish

Ethan and his family are getting a fresh start in the hot, coastal town of Palm Knot, Georgia, or at least they are trying to. While there's a promise of finding new friends and rebuilding family relationships, Ethan's guilt of who he was and what he did continues to haunt him. Whispered phone calls at night, family secrets and the secrets of his possible new best friend, Coralee, ultimately contribute to Ethan's understanding of the importance of remembering and forgiveness. This is a capably written story that discusses death, forgiveness, and the effects of guilt on a young mind.

Book Baby!

Cover of New Board Books
A review of New Board Books by

Bim! Bam! Boom!, Frederic Stehr
With fresh language, Stehr revisits an activity as old as kitchens and toddlers – the pots and pans band.

The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits, Douglas Florian
Join a family of playful bunnies as they cavort through their day, and then settle in for snuggles at bedtime.

Skip to the Loo: a Potty Book, Sally Lloyd-Jones & Anita Jeram
All of the animals are using their potties.  This celebration of successful transitioning to using the potty can be sung as well as read.  And the illustrations are adorable!

Ready, Set, Fly!

Cover of The Airport Book
A review of The Airport Book by Lisa Brown

The Airport Book is perfect for anyone planning an adventure particularly if that adventure includes flying in an airplane!) or anyone who is curious about what happens at the airport.  Follow a family of four as they pack for their trip, take a taxi, go through airport security, board the plane, and fly all the way to Grandma and Grandpa’s!  This is one of those fascinating picture books that takes the reader behind the scenes, and each repeat read will offer new details and interesting tidbits to explore. 
For ages 3 – 7

Hide and Seek

Cover of Bear & Hare, Where’s Bea
A review of Bear & Hare, Where’s Bear? by Emily Gravett

The Bear & Hare books are such fun to share with young readers! Toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy the humor and charm of each one – and you will, too! To practice counting and have a first introduction to hide-and-seek, check out Bear & Hare, Where’s Bear? (Simon & Schuster, 2016). The pacing is perfect – and the illustrations are very silly. Readers get to practice counting from 1 to 10 several times as bear and hare take turns hiding. When Hare can’t find Bear at the very end, and is feeling sad, Bear appears quickly and gives his friend a much needed hug of reassurance.

Finding ways to help

Cover of Wolf in the Snow
A review of Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Winner of the coveted 2018 Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children, Wolf in the Snow artistically explores themes of moving beyond fear and mistrust of “the other” to a place of caring and helping. Cordell’s watercolor illustrations depict a little girl and a wolf cub who find each other in a blizzard that renders each of them lost from their families and homes.

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