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Max Speed
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Max Speed

by Stephen Shaskan
 

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Max, a tiny speed racer, is off on the adventure of a lifetime in this adorable new picture book that proves all you need for a big adventure is a little imagination.

As soon as Max has finished cleaning his room, he’s off racing his super-secret car at incredible speeds, soaring over rivers of lava, sky diving, and swimming with sharks. This picture book is

Overview

Max, a tiny speed racer, is off on the adventure of a lifetime in this adorable new picture book that proves all you need for a big adventure is a little imagination.

As soon as Max has finished cleaning his room, he’s off racing his super-secret car at incredible speeds, soaring over rivers of lava, sky diving, and swimming with sharks. This picture book is perfect for every young speed racer, careening from one adventure to the next.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
10/01/2016
PreS-Gr 1—Max, a black boy, employs his active imagination and race car bed in a high-stakes adventure through his bedroom. Punctuating the text with bold digital artwork and relying on an eye-popping font, Shaskan uses space well, and his design invites children to bring their own toy cars to race alongside Max's as he avoids imaginary lava rivers and shark-infested waters. The mix of high design and old-fashioned slang, like Max's catchphrase "great gadzooks," gives this modern speedster a retro feel. The crux of this story is whether Max has met his match after encountering seemingly impossible obstacles. This is a complex concept for most young children and requires more contextual clues than what is provided here in words or illustrations. For example, when Max falls from the sky because of a malfunctioning jet pack, readers are asked, "Had Max met his match?" There is no physical opponent, since Max is up against gravity, and no answer is offered. Max beats gravity by saving himself with a parachute. Later on, when Max is battling a shark, it is easier for children to see who "the match" is because the opponent is physical. Most of the target audience will struggle with understanding the premise of this tale, although fans of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are will readily delight in discovering the similarities between the titles. VERDICT An additional selection for libraries seeking books on imaginative play.—Rachel Zuffa, Racine Public Library, WI
Kirkus Review
★ 2016-08-02
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a black boy with a big imagination!Max has finished cleaning his room so he can now play, and play he does! One vibrant, colorful spread after another depicts him pretending to zoom around in his car, ascend with his jet pack, descend with a parachute, and more. At every turn he confronts a menace (a river of hot lava or shark-infested water, for example) and exclaims “Great gadzooks!” The refrain “Had Max met his match?" is tailor-made for storytime fun, as Max, of course, emerges triumphant and never meets his match. Oh, but wait: at book’s end Max’s mother, also black, appears and prompts another round of room cleaning: “Max had met his match.” But Mom is a softie, and she helps him with the cleanup. It’s refreshing to see a parent and child of color in a contemporary, playful picture book, and the winning, vibrant digital illustrations add much to the humorous text. The combination delivers a picture book sure to speed its way to school, library, and home bookshelves, where it will surely demand repeat readings. Great gadzooks! This book is a winner. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781481445900
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
10/11/2016
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
341,884
Product dimensions:
11.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Stephen Shaskan is the author and illustrator of The Three Triceratops Tuff and A Dog Is a Dog. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, he has created artwork for advertising agencies and poster designs for local bands, theater companies/productions, and area events. Stephen has also worked in early childhood education and has taught children’s art classes through the Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul Academy, and the public schools in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he lives with his wife. Visit him at StephenShaskan.com.

Stephen Shaskan is the author and illustrator of The Three Triceratops Tuff and A Dog Is a Dog. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, he has created artwork for advertising agencies and poster designs for local bands, theater companies/productions, and area events. Stephen has also worked in early childhood education and has taught children’s art classes through the Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul Academy, and the public schools in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he lives with his wife. Visit him at StephenShaskan.com.

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