Review: Maddi’s Fridge
I recently learned September is Hunger Awareness Month. Coincidently, a children’s book recently crossed my desk that does a nice job of addressing the issue of hunger. So in the interest of raising awareness, I’d like to tell you about Maddi’s Fridge, by Lois Brandt and illustrated by Vin Vogel.
Maddi and Sophia are classmates, neighbors and best friends. While they have much in common, they also have differences. Maddi is better at climbing, but Sophia is a faster runner. When racing to Maddi’s home for a snack, Sophia discovers another big difference. Unlike her own refrigerator, Maddi’s fridge is bare. Maddi is ashamed and makes Sophia promise not to tell anyone.
Sophia does her best to be a good friend by keeping the secret and attempting to help Maddi on her own. Sophia smuggles some of her dinner items into her backpack to give to Maddi at school the next day only to result in a stinky, unappetizing mess. Realizing she can’t do this by herself, Sophia decides to break her promise and tell her mother about Maddi’s empty fridge. By doing so, it brings the two families together to deal with the situation.
In addition to addressing the topic of hunger, this is a story of friendship, a lesson in understanding when it is important to turn to adults for help, as well as a little cautionary tale on proper food storage! The story is written in a thoughtful, nonjudgmental tone and the illustrations are fun and appealing. I can see students selecting this book for themselves as well as educators using it to introduce the various themes. The last page lists several ways in which kids can get involved with links for more information. Not only does this book raise awareness, a portion of the profits are being donated to fight childhood hunger. This is a sad reality of which we all need to be more aware.
Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt and Vin Vogel (ill.). 9781936261291. September 2014. Gr. K-2