Sunday, July 19, 2015

Maddi's Fridge by Lois Brandt -- ESSENTIAL

Brandt, Lois Maddi's Fridge, illustrated by Vin Vogel. PICTURE BOOK. Flash Light Press, 2014. $17.95. Content: G.

Maddi and Sofia are the best of friends, so when Sofia sees that Maddi's refrigerator is nearly empty, she's very concerned. However, Sofia does promise her embarrassed best friend that she will keep the situation a secret, and secrets are important. But when Sofia tries to help on her own, the results are less-than-nutritious. Should Sofia break her promise and tell a trusted adult, or let Maddi go hungry?

What a great moral dilemma, and one that can be applied to so many difficult situations that kids Maddi and Sofia's age encounter! While some may consider it an "issue" book, it's also a compelling story in and of itself, with appealing illustrations, well-fleshed-out characters, and a tense plot. It would make a wonderful read-aloud and discussion starter for a number of topics, from when to keep (or tell) secrets, to how to help others in need, to the importance of persistence in the face of difficult problems. It would be hard for readers to come away from Maddi's Fridge without just a little more empathy. Embarrassing confession (and warning for those reading it aloud): I have read this book multiple times, and I STILL tear up every time because I find myself so drawn-in to Maddi and Sofia's dilemma.  Highly recommended.

Pre-K, Elementary, Middle School -- ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Caryn

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