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MADreads for Kids

Book reviews for children by library staff and guest contributors

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

A Fur-ever Family

Cover of Can I be your Dog?
A review of Can I be your Dog? by Troy Cummings

Arfy really wants his “fur-ever” home. He invites himself politely via mail to every resident on Butternut Street. Each invitee declines Arfy’s offer of being their dog.  Just when Arfy thinks he’s stuck in the leaky cardboard box at the end of the alley forever, he receives a letter. The mail carrier on Butternut Street is in need of a friend. Would Arfy be interested in having her as his person? Joy ensues as Arfy jubilantly accepts. The illustrations are the real treat of this story. They are large, bright and full of emotion. Kids will cheer with Arfy as his dream comes true.

May 10, 2019

Children in Chennai

Cover of The Bridge Home
A review of The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman
Eleven year old Viji and her younger sister Rukku flee their abusive father and arrive in Chennai (India) all alone.  Life on the streets is harsh and dangerous.  The girls form a friendship with two boys living in similar circumstances.  With Muthu and Arul, they make a shelter on an abandoned bridge.  Together, the four children look for work, share resources, and become a family to each other.  They even adopt a stray dog - Kutti, the best dog ever.  One night they are forced from their bridge and take up shelter in a cemetery.  There Rukku and Muthu fall ill.
May 6, 2019

I Talk to You, and You Talk to Me

Cover of Baby Talk
A review of Baby Talk by Stella Blackstone

This book is full of close-ups of a variety of baby/parent experiences – with babies and parents playing, singing, cuddling, holding, reading and more.  The text is so simple, yet it reveals so much about quality time with baby and how to help baby develop language skills and learn about what’s known as the “serve and return” of conversation. “I love you, and you love me. I talk to you, and you talk to me.”  This is definitely a highly recommended choice.

Apr 11, 2019

A child’s celebration of a Muslim tradition

Cover of Mommy’s Khimar
A review of Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

A young girl revels in the many khimars (also sometimes called hijabs) in her mother’s closet. She loves the colors, the fancy decorations, and all of the possibilities for play.  She dresses up in a yellow khimar and imagines herself a queen, a bird and a superhero! She loves the cozy comfort of the smells of her mother lingering in the khimar. In clear, simple language, this "own voices" book shares one aspect of the everyday life of a Muslim family. Whether your family is Muslim or has never heard the word “khimar” this book is a perfect bedtime read.

 

Mar 28, 2019

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