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MADreads for Kids

Book reviews for children by library staff and guest contributors

It takes guts to talk about stomach problems

Cover of Guts
A review of Guts by Raina Telgemeier

It's important to talk about tough topics and Raina Telgemeier's latest graphic novel transforms discussion about gastrointestinal troubles. The Telgemeier household is plagued by stomach flu for days at the beginning of Raina's autobiographical story and that sets the stage for a 4th grade year filled with vomit, diarrhea, farting, gas and other bathroom issues. The boys in fourth grade are obsessed with grossing everyone out and the girls are becoming increasingly secretive.

Oct 25, 2019

Even Sasquatch needs his space

Cover of Don't Squish the Sasquatch
A review of Don't Squish the Sasquatch by Kent Redeker

Señor Sasquatch, in his ratty fedora and bow tie, steps onto the bus, hoping it won’t be too crowded that morning (since he doesn’t enjoy being squished). As the other passengers board the bus, the driver warns them of Señor Sasquatch’s preference for space, to no avail. He becomes squished! But what to do after the bus goes “Ka-Bloooey”? Clear, bright graphic illustrations in a retro style give this monster story a big dose of wild humor. A fun book for individual sharing or a group read-aloud!

Oct 18, 2019

Write stuff

Cover of A Squiggly Story
A review of A Squiggly Story by Andrew Larsen

Everyone has stories to write, even if your writing...squiggles a little. All you need to start is a single letter. What will happen next? Preschool kids will love the comic book style of A Squiggly Story, grown-ups will be reminded how easy and fun writing a story together can be!

Oct 11, 2019

Don't forget the poetry

Cover of Forget-me-nots
A review of Forget-me-nots by Mary Ann Hoberman

Ready for some rollicking and roaring word play? Check out Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart by Mary Ann Hoberman for some unforgettable poems. This is a wonderful treasury for elementary school kids. The poems are joyful and include bright and colorful illustrations by Michael Emberley. The book has 123 poems by 57 authors (ranging from A.A. Milne to Shel Silverstein to Valerie Worth, and many more phenomenal poets). It is also a great book for reading aloud as the days get shorter and the nights a bit longer.

Oct 4, 2019

Granting wishes. Kleenex required.

Cover of Noise: Based on a True Sto
A review of Noise: Based on a True Story by Kathleen Raymundo

This short and thought provoking comic will tug at your heartstrings. It's the first day of school and an introverted girl who wants to be left alone finds an empty seat on the bus. She settles in for a ride of quiet and solitude. This is interrupted by a curious and talkative little boy who keeps pestering her for school supplies. His constant requests and questions wear her down and she finally snaps at him.

Sep 23, 2019

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

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