A well-designed and humorous concept book shines with just a few well-chosen effects.
Max is a round, red blob with stick arms and legs, and boy, is he M-A-D! He sticks out his tongue, waves his arms up and down in frustration and even gnashes his teeth! His grievances will be all too familiar to young readers: He has two annoying siblings, his dad makes him take a bath and his mom makes him eat yucky peas. But then, for no apparent reason at all, Max decides he isn't going to be mad anymore. “Maybe I don’t need to be mad. Maybe I should be glad!” Maybe he should be glad that his brother and sister want to play with him, that his mom wants him to be healthy, etc. By this time, readers will be having far too much fun to be taken aback by the quick transition. The narration, which could easily have been loud or screechy, is restrained yet expressive. Vibrant graphics, big swaths of white space and bold, black text compete energetically for screen space. The effects are very simple yet effective: When readers touch Max, he morphs momentarily from mad to madder (or glad to gladder) and then back again, along with a simple twanging noise. An optional thumbnail navigation banner runs at the bottom of the screen, providing a visually interesting bottom border.
Readers will be G-LA-D that they accompanied Max on his barely restrained rampage and subsequent cool down. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)