A nocturnal quest yields great rewards for the little black cat with the big yellow eyes.
Last seen mixing up his monsters and mice in Max the Brave (2015), cute kitten Max preps for beddy-bye. Yet his usual litany of “good night”s hits a snag when the moon is nowhere to be found. Determined to bid his lunar pal good night, Max moves from a tree to the rooftops to the highest hills. Sympathetic winds uncover the moon, gleaming and bright, who assures Max that it can hear him, even when he’s safe at home. Max’s plight and nighttime quest will ring true for any child who has ever called out from a dark bedroom for comfort. Though Vere does not take the opportunity to explain the waxing and waning of the moon, the lapse doesn’t detract from the fact that this outing surpasses Max’s last. The interior pastel backgrounds, so familiar from the earlier book, yield to twilight’s ochres and periwinkles, then to deep reds and blues. These deeper tones, paired alongside Max’s brilliant yellow eyes, recall such classics as Sam and the Firefly. Vere’s digital illustrations give the mouthless Max eyes that appear uncommonly expressive, though they do little more than look or close.
Cozy, dozy, comforting fare. (Picture book. 3-5)