Story by Kate Banks
Illustr. by Boris Kulikov
Series: Max's Castle, Max's Words (affil.)
Genre:Childrens Fiction, Rhyming
Publication Date: March 18, 2008
|Description from Publisher: Max is looking for words that rhyme. His dragon is in his wagon – or was, for now its tail has left a trail, which Max follows. He finds an umbrella on the ground— "Found, ground," he says, while his older brothers mock him for believing in dragons and sitting under an umbrella when it isn't even raining. But Max believes in possibilities—and when he can show his brothers not only a dragon in the stormy clouds but also a dinosaur, they begin to come round. When Max demonstrates the power of his rhyming words to tame the dinosaur and the dragon and make the rain come, he wins them over completely.
With amusing wordplay and beguiling illustrations, Kate Banks and Boris Kulikov celebrate language and imagination in a collaboration that is bound to be oodles of fun for everyone.
This is the first of three "Max" books by Kate Banks and Boris Kulikov that I picked up when my son was an infant. I think it's fun to find books with my son's name in it. Seeing as how the dedications in the books are often "To my Max," "No, to MY Max," I'm guessing that both Banks and Kulikov feel the same. ;)
The art style of Kulikov is uniquely detailed and adds a lot of charm to his books. The children are all well-drawn and you can see their personalities in their expressions and outfit choices. The wonderful imagination that Max has is shown beautifully as you get a bit of reality blended with a vivid imagination.
The character of Max feels very much like a "little brother," but one who is confident in what he does despite his older brothers, Benjamin and Karl, making fun of him. I really love how both brothers are a dismissive of Max until they just can't help but be pulled into his fun world of adventure.
The rhyming is great and uses mostly multisyllabic words, so they all feel fresh. The rhyming game the boys all play would also be a fun one to play in real life, especially for those ages 6-10 or so. My son (3.5) is still a bit young for that, but he does still enjoy all the rhymes and pictures!