Maxwell's Mountain


When he spies the BIG hill—make that a mountain!—in his neighborhood park, Maxwell is determined to climb all the way to the top. He has everything a true outdoorsman needs: climbing gear, a map, a first-aid kit, water, snacks, and his trusty toy soldier, Harry, by his side. But when Maxwell loses the trail, he must rely on his smarts to get back on track.

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When he spies the BIG hill—make that a mountain!—in his neighborhood park, Maxwell is determined to climb all the way to the top. He has everything a true outdoorsman needs: climbing gear, a map, a first-aid kit, water, snacks, and his trusty toy soldier, Harry, by his side. But when Maxwell loses the trail, he must rely on his smarts to get back on track.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
When Maxwell sees the "mountain" in his local park, he knows that it is just waiting for him to climb to the top. Undaunted by his parents' protests that he is too young for the climb, Maxwell is soon reading books about mountain climbing and exercising to build up his endurance. He knows exactly what gear to bring and consults his toy soldier buddy, Harry, about the entire preparation for the expedition. Finally, Maxwell's parents agree to let him try the climb. It is not easy, and at one point Maxwell loses the trail, but not his head. The reader will share in Maxwell's success, and all should silently cheer for the parents who were strong enough to let their son face the challenge on his own. It is a delightful story of empowerment that boys will love as they join Maxwell when he gazes from the mountain summit and looks down at the surrounding town.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-An adventurous boy investigates a new park in town and finds the usual slide, swing set, and sandbox but is excited to discover there is also a "mountain" to climb. After Maxwell states his intent to conquer the rock-covered hill, his father explains that he must first become a "great outdoorsman." Following a trip to the library, the resourceful child reads and makes a list of what he must do to get ready for his climb. The big day finally arrives and Maxwell, his parents, and his trusty toy soldier arrive at the park. The young explorer, who appears to be about seven or eight, follows the yellow dots marking the trail, which begins on a gravel path and gradually moves upward into boulders. When Maxwell temporarily loses his way, he backtracks, finds the trail again, and successfully reaches the summit. Watercolor-and-ink illustrations, mainly in tan, yellow, and green, reveal a hill that appears larger in each successive picture. The child's parents are shown standing at the base of the hill, keeping a vigilant eye on their intrepid son. A final picture reveals a triumphant Maxwell sitting on an outcropping high above the rooftops: this will thrill children while making parents a bit queasy. The toy soldier that mimics the boy's every move adds a bit of whimsy to the tale. A good, solid story about making the necessary preparations for attempting to reach a goal and then achieving success.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Maxwell is disappointed by the predictability of the new park, but then he sees the mountain: "It was awesome. It was glorious. It was big." Maxwell is inextricably drawn to climbing it, though Mom won't allow it. At dinner, Maxwell channels Close Encounters of the Third kind as he builds a mountain of mashed potatoes. His parents tell him that one must be a great outdoorsman to achieve such an ascent. With resolve, Maxwell reads up, draws a map and packs supplies, first aid and food. Seeing Maxwell's eagerness, his parents finally consent. Tackling the mountain at last, Maxwell follows the yellow dots, apparently left by others, that mark a trail, while his parents wait below. At first it's easy, but gradually the climb becomes steeper and the pebbles graduate to boulders. Obstacles abound, but the final spread shows the splendid view of Maxwell's triumph. Wong's illustrations are elegant, accentuated by hues of mild greens, yellows and blues. This mini-adventure is an absorbing story of determination and a boy's growing independence. (Picture book. 4-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580890472
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD560L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Shari Becker attended Concordia University’s well-regarded communications program. After graduation, she worked at a small film and television production company, but yearned to work in children’s T.V. So she moved to New York City in 1995 to pursue a Master of Arts in Children’s Media at New York University.

She worked at Nickelodeon as an Associate Producer after completing her degree and has written for kids and parents online, on-air and in print.

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