Max in Hollywood, Baby

Max in Hollywood, Baby

by Maira Kalman, Maira Kalman's Max
Enter Max. Dreamer. Poet. Dog. In this rollicking madcap tale, Max and his dazzling Dalmation bride take off to direct a move in Hollywood.


Enter Max. Dreamer. Poet. Dog. In this rollicking madcap tale, Max and his dazzling Dalmation bride take off to direct a move in Hollywood.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ordinarily, a dog's life isn't characterized by glamour, but Max Stravinsky, canine extraordinaire, runs with the in-crowd. Max, last sighted among the poodles and bulldogs of gay Paree in Ooh-la-la (Max in Love) , here continues his postmodern, exceedingly quirky adventures. This time he's in Tinseltown to pen a ``sugar-smackin, rootin-tootin, high-spy, sci-fi . . . madcap musical mystery'' script, and he gets star treatment--even coasting around in a limo chauffeured by the fabulously suave Ferrrnando stet Extra Debonnaire. Kalman takes artistic risks even beyond those of her earlier titles, freewheelingly experimenting with different styles, sizes and colors of type, and sometimes substituting cleverly manipulated chunks of text for illustrations. However, the romance and wonderment are absent, replaced by all-out hipness; Kalman doesn't attain the high standards she set in Ooh-la-la . Her oddball wit remains--who else would correlate ``Film noir, Mel Blanc''--and Max is still cult-hero material, but this book will ultimately amuse adults more than kids. All ages. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 2 Up-- When readers last saw that debonair dog Max, he had met his true love in Paris and was off to seek fame and fortune in Tinseltown ( Ooh-la-la Max in Love, Viking, 1991). This book recounts his Hollywood adventures with the same irreverence, eccentricities, and sardonic wit that make Kalman's other books so unique and so memorable. Once again, the vivid, surreal illustrations punctuate the zany text, but may also stand alone in their offbeat and on-target commentaries. If possible, Max's cinematic antics meet and surpass his earlier escapades as an outlandish expose on human behavior. Children will be caught up in the frenetic rhythms and rhymes of the text, but the allusions to the mocking of the Golden Age of Hollywood, as well as filmdom's contemporary gurus, will be lost on them. Hopefully, this creative masterpiece will find its way into the hands of sophisticated older children and those adults who will appreciate its ingenuity. --Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI
Bill Ott
All ages. Horrors! Max the dreamer, Max the poet, Max the dog has gone Hollywood. Everybody's favorite poet pooch, whose gargantuan appetite for life took him to Paris in "Max Makes a Million" and made the dazzling dalmation Crepes Suzette go all swoony in "Ooh-La-La" , just couldn't resist the clarion call of the Big Screen: "Flood my senses, make me weep, kiss the heroine, kill the creep. The credits, the edits, Houdini! Whodunit! Musicals that dance and dancicals that muse, I'm filled with hope watching Cinemascope, cause I'm no dope I love movies."Ah, but poor Max: all that energy, all that Day-Glo zest for gulping the syncopated stuff of life like an ordinary mutt wolfs Alpo, has turned in on itself, transforming him from wide-eyed, life-loving pup on the prowl to pampered, ego-obsessed film director Max Stravinsky. As Crepes Suzette sits by watching Max's signature hat seem to shrink to a mere dot atop his now-elephantine head, our hero can only wail, as so many stars have wailed before him: "I want to pout and rant and rave and get everything I crave. I want to be a celebrity. Have my pawprints in cement for posterity and just when it seems I have all that I adore I will graciously implore: I want more I want more. I want more." Fortunately, Max is no garden-variety celebrity; he finally listens when Crepes tells him he has "become ze insufferable show-business "schmendrick"." It's good-bye Hollywood and hello open road. Max is back!Just when you feel yourself ready to say that Kalman has carried her Max shtick a little too far, she makes a believer of you all over again. Forget, once and for all, the old argument that Max is too adult for kids. Sure, the Hollywood references here come at you like machine-gun fire, and most kids aren't going to get all or even any of them. But the point is, they're funny anyway. Like all great surrealists, Kalman the writer is above all a creator of sounds, not of meanings. The caterwauling cadence of her sentences is a sheer delight, good in itself, a comic celebration of the richness and rhythm of language. The hysterically right-on, pun-saturated satire of Hollywood is a delight, too, but it's far from the whole show. And, of course, the whole show is much more than words. Kalman the artist finds in Hollywood a fit subject for her manic, diamond-as-big-as-the-Ritz style, though here there is a satiric edge to her pictures: giant hats, humongous hot dogs, people, weird people, forever in your face wanting to massage you, feed you cheesecake, give you acupuncture. Unlike in "Max Makes a Million", where Kalman was celebrating New York's sidewalk symphony of sensory pleasures, here she portrays a city of sycophants, smiling, agreeing, seducing. This time Kalman's two-page spreads, like Los Angeles itself, are an explosion of dazzling distractions demanding attention. Where does the eye go? Who knows? Have some mineral water while you decide where to look. Welcome to L.A.No, Kalman's shtick isn't wearing thin. Far from it. The ongoing saga of Max the dog--in words, in pictures, in typography--has vaulted across genres, between audiences, and beyond expectations. It's the graphic novel of the nineties, and it's truly for all ages.

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.38(w) x 10.34(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
5 - 11 Years

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