Max Makes a Million

Max Makes a Million

by Maira Kalman, Maira Kalman's Max

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this bohemian celebration, Max the dog, the poet, the dreamer, is back. His struggle for acceptance since Hey Willy, See the Pyramids has not been easy--Max has had to post his poems on a wall at the corner of Pastrami and Salami Streets for his fellow New Yorkers to see. Even as he pines for Paris, Max admits that New York City is fine by him: `` . . . a jumping, jazzy city, a shimmering, stimmering triple-decker sandwich kind of city.'' In this unique blend of reality and fantasy, intermingled words and images seem influenced by such strange sources as Mamie Eisenhower's wardrobe, the Jazz Age and the Theatre of the Absurd. Banter that rings with sophistication is well matched by the esoteric illustrative approach readers have come to expect from Kalman. Although there is much to glean from an unhurried single reading, this fanciful creation yields its greatest treasures through repeated visits. All ages. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-- First introduced in Hey Willy, See the Pyramids (Viking, 1988), Max, the poet dog who wants to live in Paris, is trying to make his dream come true while living in ``that crazy quivering wondering wild city''--New York. His friends include Bruno, an artist who paints invisible paintings; the mysterious twins Otto and Otto; and Marcello, a waiter/architect who designs upside-down houses. Kalman introduces readers to Max' world with a text that jumps around the pages and forms itself into shapes such as the Eiffel Tower, the Guggenheim Museum, curves, or zigzags. The words themselves have the exuberant rhythm of nonsense verse and are best appreciated when read aloud. With references to pompadours, the theory of gravity, soirees, and canapes, it's clear that few young children will be able to read and understand this picture book by themselves. Kalman's wit will be best appreciated by adults, who may or may not be able to explain it to their kids. The illustrations feature wild, brightly colored modern art full of elongated fantasy figures. Chagall and Picasso have influenced her use of unexpected colors (green faces, blue hair) and method of outlining the features of her characters. The style is similar to her earlier works, but is more sophisticated and inventive. The book's strangeness will not appeal to everyone, but its message about following one's dreams at all costs is thoughtfully and imaginatively presented. --Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, County of Henrico Public Library--Fairfield Area Library, Richmond, VA

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.34(w) x 10.36(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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