Max is back in the fourth in his eponymous series of concept books.
Whether he is building a car or riding in one, Max always keeps an eye out for numbers. At first, it’s simple adding that catches his fancy (2 wheels + 2 wheels = 4 wheels), but when he takes his car out, he discovers other math concepts when he has to choose to visit Shapeville or Count Town. A left sends him to Shapeville, where all the squares (including the town square) have been swept away by a storm. Max and his friends have a variety of math-y adventures in which they help find a missing zero so a rocket countdown can occur, learn to combine shapes to create new ones, sort socks, connect dots and discover the difference between a 9 and a 6. The quick-moving story is tied together by Max’s fascination with numbers and math. Kulikov’s rich, textured paintings are filled with details that extend the story and invite young mathematicians to stop and examine Max’s fantastic world. Here is a cow covered with numbers instead of spots, and there are fields made of graph paper. Shapeville, with its two-dimensional inhabitants, is especially compelling, and it’s easy to imagine youngsters arranging their blocks into new shapes as Max does. Clever teachers will find plenty of curricular connections, too.
Inventive. Bold. MAXimum fun! (Picture book. 3-8)