MAX by Bob Graham


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
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No one will accuse Graham (Benny, 1999, etc.) of excessive subtlety in this story of meeting life’s challenges when you are good and ready. Young Max is the son of superheroes Captain Lightning and Madam Thunderbolt and he is the grandson of superannuated superheroes. He, too, is destined for the superhero life—he even sports a cape and mask—but Max is short a card in the superhero deck: he can’t fly. His parents school him in the arts of hovering and swooping and hurtling; his grandfather notes challengingly that, “when I was his age, I got into trouble for leaving fingerprints on the ceiling lamp.” He gets teased at school for his decidedly un-superpowers. Still, Max remains firmly grounded, not willfully, but simply, because. Soon thereafter, Max witnesses a young bird being nudged from the nest. “This bird was not ready to fly.” Fortunately, another one is: Max flies to the baby bird’s rescue. From there it’s just an arm stroke to the jet stream. For good measure, Graham tosses in this comment from one of Max’s school chums: “Everyone’s different in some way, aren’t they?” These blatancies almost reduce the book to a cliché, though not quite. The rest of the text has a tender quality that can’t be overlooked, and the artwork alone—cartoony watercolors of saturated color, broken into numerous panels—will keep young eyes wholly absorbed. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-7636-1138-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2000


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