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MADreads for Kids

Book reviews for children by library staff and guest contributors

Monsters need to eat, too

Cover of Brave Chef Brianna
A review of Brave Chef Brianna by Jillian Crab

A famous chef and restaurateur in failing health decides to pit his children against one another in order for one of them to achieve the rights to his successful empire.  All of the children (12 boys!) and one daughter, Brianna Jakobsson, must start a new restaurant.  The child with the most successful restaurant wins the inheritance.  Each restaurant must be in a different town and all of the children must open their restaurant without any assistance from their father.  Brianna is at a major disadvantage because she is the youngest in the family and has only recently graduated from culinar

January 12, 2018

All Aboard for Fun!

Cover of Old Tracks, New Tricks
A review of Old Tracks, New Tricks by Jessica Peterson

Wooden train tracks are good for more than just trains, and this story proves it. It's told in rhyme, with a combination of text boxes and word balloons, and illustrated with colorful photos. The train tracks and toy trains themselves can speak, and the tracks prove to the trains that they have lots of different uses. There's a bonus section at the end showing how you, too, can recreate the fun experiences shown in the book. This is a great STEM read that should inspire lots of play and creativity.

January 5, 2018

Plenty of chickens

Cover of Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna
A review of Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna the Very First Chicken by Douglas Rees

Have you ever wondered why there are plenty of chickens and no Tyrannosaurus Rexes in the world today? The answer is Edna, the very first chicken. She is small and brave and won’t let the big and fierce T. Rex bully her or the other dinosaurs. In Douglas Rees’ fun and colorful book Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna the Very First Chicken readers find that it doesn’t take powerful jaws and a roar to be brave. Filled with dinosaur antics, cluck-worthy excitement, and feathery heroics, this is read is fun for everyone (except Tyrannosaurus Rex).

December 15, 2017

Living in the Moment

Cover of Now
A review of Now by Antoinette Portis

Antoinetter Portis' new book Now is a beautiful and poignant look at childhood and all of its favorite things. Childhood is about discovering new favorite things, often that change daily and grown-ups will smile at the familiar shift from one favorite to the next like, "This is my favorite song, because it's the one I am singing." But to me this book is a light handed introduction to mindfulness and a guide to living in the moment.

December 8, 2017

A Very Punny Graphic Chapter Book

Cover of All Paws on Deck
A review of All Paws on Deck by Jessica Young

Haggis (a Scottish Terrier) and Tank (a Great Dane) are two very imaginative doggy friends.  They spend most of their time in a back yard, but sometimes they go on adventures in their minds.  In “All Paws on Deck” Tank decides to deck out their little red wagon as a pirate ship.  They sail off into a land of make-believe and have many adventures together!  The format for this book falls right between graphic novel (there are lots of full-color illustrations with speech bubbles) and chapter book (there are also blocks of text, though never more than a quarter of the space on a page is filled

December 1, 2017

Courage Over Fear

Cover of I Am (Not) Scared
A review of I Am (Not) Scared by Anna Kang

Anna Kang's fuzzy purple and brown creatures from You Are (Not) Small and That's (Not) Mine ​are back in this silly and delightful picture book about facing your fears. There are a lot of things to be scared of out there: tubs of hairy spiders, pits of lava, or (eeek!) snakes! But not a roller coaster! Roller coasters are fun! Uh oh, until there is a snake riding on the coaster with you... However, our two brave friends still hop on the coaster for a hilariously illustrated adventure. I love how this book ends.

November 22, 2017

Find Out!

Cover of Volcanoes
A review of Volcanoes by Maria Gill

Let’s face it; some kids prefer to read non-fiction.  These are the kids who are fascinated with almanacs and world records books.  If you’ve got one of these kids in your house, check out the new DK findout!

October 27, 2017

1, 2, 3...Build!

Cover of Billions of Bricks
A review of Billions of Bricks by Kurt Cyrus

Billed as a counting book, Cyrus brings much more to this artful picture book.  We count bricks by ones, fives, tens and twenties.  Readers also learn how bricks and mortar are made, and are treated to the math, science, design and artistry involved in bricklaying.  The rhyming text invites repeated read-alouds. And the photo-realistic illustrations are worth multiple visits as well, with a racially diverse cast of characters that range in age from children to grandparents, all sporting hardhats and coveralls and fully involved in the building.

October 20, 2017

I miss Chi's Sweet Home

Cover of FukuFuku
A review of FukuFuku by Kanata Konami

Going back over time, I calculate that I've read and written about at least six different cat comics or children's graphic novel series on MADreads.  This does not include a childhood spent reading Garfield.  This does not include my recent (personal) purchasing and reading of the new "Grumpy Cat/Garfield" comic series.  Who knew that Grumpy Cat and Garfield knew each other?!?!?  It's an amazing world!!  I guess what I'm trying to say is that there's a wealth of this kind of material out there and I celebrate it.  All of it.

October 19, 2017

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