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MADreads for Kids

Book reviews for children by library staff and guest contributors

All the honors

Cover of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh
A review of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes

Earning multiple awards including a Newbery Honor, a Caldecott Honor (for illustration), and Coretta Scott King Honors for writing and for illustration, Crown celebrates one black boy’s experience in the barber’s chair, and how that fresh cut can elevate both self-esteem and self-confidence. James’ realistic illustrations are dazzling, with bold painterly strokes of color, that capture subtle nuances of feeling, character and setting.

Feb 15, 2018

Alligators, Bears, and Chickens, Oh My!

Cover of Little Red Cat Who Ran Awa
A review of Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned his ABC's (the Hard Way) by Patrick McDonnell

Grab your running shoes - we are off!  A little red cat sees an open front door, runs out, and the adventure begins.  He is chased by an alligator, then a bear and a chicken - in that order.  This nearly wordless book it so much fun on a couple of different levels.  Each page has a letter, both the upper and lower case, and a delightful picture the relates to the letter.  The reader has to figure out what word is being illustrated.  But your job is not done there, you also have to figure out the plot of the book.  Plot in an ABC book?  Yes, there is a definite story to this book.  There is

Feb 9, 2018

Go, gummy, go!

Cover of The Not-So-Secret Society:
A review of The Not-So-Secret Society: Tale of the Gummy by Matthew Daley

Books that involve gangs of problem solving kids, hijinks and hilarity are perennially popular at my house. I checked this new book out because it looked like it fit that bill, and boy did it ever. Wherever this series goes I will follow. Madison, Dylan, Emma, Aidan and Ava are twelve years old, classmates, and members of the Not-So-Secret Society.  

Feb 6, 2018

Refugee Life

Cover of Where will I live?
A review of Where will I live? by Rosemary A. McCarney

People all over the world are often forced to leave their homes. Sometimes they leave because of war, hunger, or disaster. Sometimes they leave to find better opportunities. But the question that comes next is always “Where Will I Live?” In this photo-story children from all over the world are depicted as they leave their old homes and journey to find new ones. No matter where someone comes from we all need the same things: a place to sleep, food to eat, and someone to love us.

Jan 26, 2018

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

Jan 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.

Jan 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).

Dec 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.

Dec 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

Dec 1, 2017

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