Max's Castle

Max's Castle

by Kate Banks, Boris Kulikov
     
 

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When Max finds a pile of forgotten toys under the bed, his brothers Benjamin and Karl wonder what's so special about some old blocks. So Max shows them. With some clever twists of both blocks and imagination, he constructs not only a castle but an entire adventure, complete with pirates and knights, a dark dungeon and a dragon.

This ingenious sequel to Max

Overview

When Max finds a pile of forgotten toys under the bed, his brothers Benjamin and Karl wonder what's so special about some old blocks. So Max shows them. With some clever twists of both blocks and imagination, he constructs not only a castle but an entire adventure, complete with pirates and knights, a dark dungeon and a dragon.

This ingenious sequel to Max's Words and Max's Dragons shows readers just how much fun wordplay can be. This title has Common Core connections.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Imaginative Max, who first appeared in Max’s Words, discovers that a whole new world can unfold from one simple discovery—in this case, a wooden letter block. Using more blocks, Max builds an enormous castle. Max and his two brothers enact a kind of three- dimensional Scrabble game, in which the words they spell explode into life. “‘I will turn your sword into words,’ said Max. ‘And this spear will become pears.’” (Max, as king, has a pacifist streak.) The stern of an approaching vessel spells “p-i-r-a-t-e-s,” but with the flick of a wand, Max transforms it into a grinning rat holding “rat pies.” Kulikov’s chalky, boldly lit illustrations have a bright energy that feels almost improvisational, working in seamless harmony with Banks’s nimble wordplay. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

“In 'Max's Castle,' by Kate Banks, the letters are simply letters, yet become ingenious tools for sparking a child's imagination….As with previous collaborations between Banks and the bold illustrator Boris Kulikov ('Max's Words', 'Max's Dragon'), words become magical amulets that transmogrify the world around Max.” —The New York Times

“Kulikov's chalky, boldly lit illustrations have a bright energy that feels almost improvisational, working in seamless harmony with Banks's nimble wordplay.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred

“Brimming with clever wordplay, humor, and mixed-media scenes worthy of any child's dreams-come-true, the full impact is clearly the result of seasoned collaboration and experience…” —School Library Journal

“Playful perspectives, vivid colors and animated action are brilliantly executed with details that require a second look, then a third.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Max's brothers are not impressed with the "amazing" alphabet block and other toys he pulls out from under his bed. But clever Max, hero of two other adventures playing with words, shows them how "amazing" building his castle can be. Using his blocks, he builds WALLS; changing one letter he then makes HALLS. Creating a room for his brother Karl, he uses DINOSAUR BONES. From MORE BONES he makes BEN'S ROOM. The MOAT around the castle becomes a BOAT. On that, the boys encounter PIRATES, which Max turns into RAT PIES. And so the imaginative creation with blocks continues through adventures with dragons, dungeons, and a final escape. To celebrate their FEATS, he makes a FEAST, for a grand finale. Kulikov has his fun playing with the blocks as he uses the large upper case letters on their sides to construct the words needed to advance the story. Textured surfaces construct lively buildings, boats, even a great ham sandwich, along with the lively naturalistic characters. Vignettes, full pages, and a few dramatic double-page scenes shape appropriate settings for the jolly sequence of make-believe fun. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Benjamin and Karl continue their condescending attitude toward their younger brother in this third adventure about Max. They are incredulous when he enthusiastically unearths a lettered block from beneath his bed. After finding other long-abandoned toys in the stash, he begins to construct a castle. Always one to see the potential of words, Max now trains his imagination on the letters within. As "moat" becomes a "boat" and "pirates" become "rat pies," the siblings are swept into the pretend world, and the scale transforms to life-size. When danger presents itself, quick-thinking Max rearranges the letters to alter the course of events; even when they fall into a "catastrophe" (a dungeon), the boys find "hope" and a "star." Brimming with clever wordplay, humor, and mixed-media scenes worthy of any child's dreams-come-true, the full impact is clearly the result of seasoned collaboration and experience; e.g., when Banks writes that the "drawer" contains a "reward," Kulikov's painting of a mirror proving the point is an inspired response. The perspectives are more dramatic, the contrast between light and dark is heightened, and there are more full-bleed spreads than in the earlier titles, especially at moments of tension. Those who have seen the previous books will recognize objects in the brothers' castle rooms. Emerging readers will enjoy deciphering the words formed by the blocks before they hear the text. Everyone will delight in the imagined world, and some children may be inspired to look under their beds.—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374399191
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
10/25/2011
Series:
Max's Words Series , #3
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
692,131
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author


Kate Banks and Boris Kulikov have also collaborated on Max's Words, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and its sequel, Max's Dragon, as well as The Eraserheads. Kate Banks lives in the South of France and Boris Kulikov lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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