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MADreads for Kids

Book reviews for children by library staff and guest contributors

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.

May 18, 2018

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

May 11, 2018

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.

May 4, 2018

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!

May 2, 2018

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

April 27, 2018

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.

April 6, 2018

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.

April 5, 2018

Grumpy Bear

Cover of Those Pesky Rabbits
A review of Those Pesky Rabbits by Ciara Flood

Bear lives alone, and that's just the way he likes it. But when a family of pesky rabbits moves in next door, knock knock knocking on bears door... his whole life is about to change. Fantastically told, Ciara Flood pairs her minimal text with illustrations that add layers to bear's grumpy responses to his neighbors. Bear tells the rabbits he is "too busy to help them chop wood!" when in the next page turn we see him snoozing in front of the fire while all the rabbits work together just outside his window.

March 12, 2018

Bedtime Bunnies

Cover of Good night! Good night!
A review of Good night! Good night! by Carin Berger

Bunnies at bedtime saying goodnight may conjure up thoughts of ANOTHER classic bedtime story.  However....these bunnies aren't quite ready for "goodnight" just yet..  Mama Bunny gives the usual goodnight stories, songs, hugs and kisses but still her three little bunnies have other ideas in mind!  They want goodnight dances!  What?  Dances??  And jumping beans and monkeys and tickles.  Finally, Mama Bunny has enough and tucks those rambunctious bunny babies into bed.  With sweet, exuberant collage illustrations and lyrical text this title will be a favorite at bedtime and beyond.

February 23, 2018

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