The Children’s Book Review | August 25, 2016
Written by Lois Brandt
Illustrated by Vin Vogel
Hardcover Book: 32 pages
Age Range: 4-8 years
Publisher: Flashlight Press (2014)
What to expect: Friendship, Hunger, Family Issues
Sofia and Maddi are best friends. They play at the park until the streetlights turn on, running and jumping and working up a fierce appetite. So when Sofia runs to Maddi’s house for a snack, she’s met with a surprise. Maddi’s fridge only has a bit of milk for her little brother. Nothing else. Confused, Sofia asks why Maddi’s mom doesn’t go to the store. Turns out, they can’t afford it. Maddi begs Sofia not to tell anyone.
So starts Sofia’s quest to help her friend–without telling her mom. The first night she packs up leftover fish, only to find a yucky surprise in her backpack the next day. Then, it’s raw eggs. Turns out that’s not great overnight in a backpack, either. But she strikes gold with leftover burritos and manages to bring a lunch to her bestie, Maddi.
But Sofia realizes that this is not enough. Maddi won’t be able to run and jump and play without enough food. Finally, Sofia tells her mom what’s happening at Maddi’s house. Mom swoops in with bags of groceries and a fun treat, cheesy pizza bombs, and they go to Maddi’s house. While the mom’s talk about adult stuff, Maddi and Sofia play. Maddi forgives Sofia for telling, because she was trying to help. And she did! And now Maddi has enough food for her and her little brother.
This is a big-issue book, handled delicately. It’s not preachy or judgmental, and has a sweet story about friendship first and foremost. The funny parts with yucky food hidden in a backpack provide some levity in what could be a very serious book. It provides a great starting point for discussions about hunger, charity, and talking to an adult when something seems wrong with a little friend. The illustrations are fun and the language is accessible. A perfectly sweet book about a serious topic. Very well done!
Add this book to your collection: Maddi’s Fridge
About Lois Brandt
Lois Brandt is a writing teacher who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, West Africa. She lives in Issaquah, Washington.
About Vin Vogel
Vin Vogel is a Brazilian illustrator and designer who has illustrated more than 45 children’s and young adult books in his native Portuguese and French. He lives in New York City.
Maddi’s Fridge, by Lois Brandt and Vin Vogel, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like Maddi’s Fridge by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Flashlight Press, Friendship, Picture Books, and Social Graces.