Max has just started school while Madison goes to kindergarden. The children are very interested in the world around them and are always looking to learn about new and interesting things. Max is also learning to be a magician.
Across from their house is a large area of native Australian forest where many birds and bush animals live together, this is called a national park.
Joe MacDonald and his wife Mrs Jill have a farm just outside of town where they keep dairy cows, chickens, geese and ducks and keep bees. They make a living by selling their produce at the weekly market near town.
There always seems to be something happening in this small town and Max and Madison are usually involved somehow. They are joined sometimes by their friends the Baker cousins.
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.30(d)|
Read an Excerpt
The Excellent Adventures of Max and MadisonBedtime stories for youngsters
By Grandma Bette
Balboa PressCopyright © 2012 Grandma Bette
All right reserved.
Chapter OneCLARENCE THE CUCKOO
Max slowly opened his eyes and looked around the bedroom. Something had woken him up this morning but it was not the alarm clock. The house was very quiet and everyone else was still asleep. It was bright and sunny outside and a little beam of sunlight had shone onto his eyelids, that was what had woken him up.
Well, Max thought to himself, it seems very sunny for six o'clock in the morning. He checked his digital clock which sat on the table next to his bed. Oh no it was twenty minutes before seven! What was going on, the whole family had slept in, how could this have happened?
In the kitchen there was a cuckoo clock which looked like a little wooden house. Every hour during the day, Clarence the cuckoo would pop out of a little window at the top of the house and call out the hours. Everyone relied on Clarence to make sure that they ate their meals regularly and left for work and kindergarden on time. Then in the evening, Max and his sister Madison went to bed when Clarence cuckooed seven times. But this morning there was not a sound from the kitchen, the house was quiet, too quiet. What has happened to Clarence?
Max hopped out of bed, put on his slippers and walked out to the kitchen. The little window at the top of the clock was closed, so he very carefully climbed up on mummy's kitchen steps and peeked inside. There was poor Clarence still in his little nest looking very sad. He saw Max looking in and waved his wing, so Max opened the window and asked what was wrong. Clarence whispered that he had a sore throat and was unable to call out the time today and was very upset that he had allowed the family to oversleep and perhaps be late for work.
Max knew that when he had a sore throat his mummy would make him a drink of lemon juice and honey, so he told Clarence to just relax and that he would be back soon. Then he raced out into the back yard and picked a fresh lemon from the tree then returned to the kitchen, squeezed some juice and mixed it in a very small glass with water and some of Mrs Jill's farm fresh honey. Carefully he passed it through the window for Clarence to drink.
"This will fix you right up," Max told him, "and it will be our little secret." Then Max went to his room to shower and dress for the day and returned to the kitchen. He set about preparing the table for breakfast in order to save his family some time, then he sat down and waited and waited. It was nearly seven, would Clarence recover his voice in time?
Then at seven o'clock, right on time, the window opened, the little platform of the clock popped out and Clarence sang out the time in very clear cuckoos. He waved thank you to Max and popped back inside the clock. It was not long before Max heard the sounds of mum and dad and his sister Madison all getting out of bed and noticing that they were a little late, they all hurried to have breakfast and get ready for their day. Mummy thanked Max for setting the table that morning and then everyone went off to work, school and kindergarten on time.
Today it is so hot that mummy and daddy decided to take the children to the seaside for a swim. When they arrived they found a good spot on the beach but Max and Madison could not wait, so they ran straight down to jump into the water to cool off. Meanwhile daddy put up a big umbrella to protect them from the sun and spread a blanket over the sand so that mummy could sit and watch the children as they played. Max and Madison loved being at the edge of the water where the waves were small and gentle, so they swam and jumped and splashed until mummy called them for lunch.
After lunch Madison picked up her bucket and spade and started to build a sand castle.
"Come on Maxie" she said "help me build a big fortress."
"Not now, maybe later" Max replied "I think that I will go exploring in those rocks over there," he said pointing over to his left.
What is so interesting about rocks Madison thought to herself, sand is much more fun, rocks are boring.
Max wandered over to the rocks and carefully looked around to see if there were any interesting creatures to be found. He saw little breathing holes in the sand which told him that crabs were sleeping down there waiting for the tide to come in. Some of the rocks were sort of in circles and sea water had become trapped in them making small pools. Some flat shell fish had attached themselves to the rocks and seagulls were trying to peck open the shells for a tasty snack. Max saw a seashell crawling across the bottom of one pool and over there was a small star fish, wow, what an interesting place Max was thinking.
Just then, behind him, he heard a loud splash so he turned and crouched over the edge of a big rock pool to see what was going on. The sound was being made by a fish which was jumping up and plopping back down again. It was a brightly coloured fish with a long pointed nose, Max did not know what it was called but he knew that the fish belonged in the ocean and not in a rock pool.
"Please, can you help me," spluttered the pretty fish, "I was curious and came in with the high tide to have a look around and forgot the time and the tide went out again. Now that it is low tide the water is not deep enough for me to swim back to the ocean. It will be hours before the tide comes in again and I need to be in deep water long before it does."
Max told the fish that he would ask mummy and daddy to help and that he would be back soon. Walking back towards their beach umbrella, he noticed that Madison was still making castles with her bucket and spade. Then Max had an idea. He picked up his own beach bucket and went to the shore line and half filled it with water. Then he carried it to the rock pool where the pretty fish was trapped. Very carefully he slipped the fish into the bucket and carried it down to the seashore.
Once there Max walked in the water up to his knees and carefully lowered his bucket into the water watching as his fishy friend swam out into the sea.
"Thank you so much", said his fishy friend and with a flick of its tail it swam swiftly away.
"You are welcome," said Max who was very glad that he had decided to go exploring amongst the rocks that day.
CATERINA AND HER MAGIC TRICK
One Saturday when Max and Madison went to the national park for their usual picnic they decided to put on a magic show for their bush friends. Max had stuffed all of his magic tricks into his backpack and even brought along his big black magician's hat. It was not long before their bush friends began to arrive, all looking for a good spot to view the performance. Some kangaroos and wombats sat in the clearing, Edna the echidna poked her nose out of her hollow log while possums and cockatoos perched up on branches of trees.
First Max pulled out a pack of cards and asked Kevin the koala to pick a card and tear it into six pieces and then place the torn card into the magic black box. Then Max tapped the box with his magic wand, opened it and there was the card now in one piece again. Everyone was amazed. He went on to do more magic tricks and finished off with his favourite one. He placed some dollar coins inside his black hat and made them disappear with a wave of his wand and then asked Kylie the kangaroo to look in her pouch and there they were. Max took a bow and everyone clapped and cheered. His bush friends were really impressed because they told Max that none of them could do any magic tricks.
"Well that is not true" said a little voice from somewhere nearby. Everyone turned around to see who had spoken and it was Caterina the caterpillar who had been watching the show perched up on a leaf of a nearby bush.
"I can do a great magic trick," she said "but it takes a few weeks and I can only do it one time."
"What sort of trick would take weeks?" asked Madison.
"Wait and see." said Caterina mysteriously, as she turned away and began to nibble on a juicy leaf.
Everyone watched for a while but Caterina just sat munching on leaves, so the bush animals slowly wandered away and Max and Madison rode home on their bicycles. On the next Saturday the children went looking for Caterina and found her sitting in another bush as usual just eating and eating.
"What about the trick?" asked Max
"I am working on it," she replied.
One week later they visited her again and she was still munching leaves but she was so fat that they hardly recognised her.
"Hey what about that trick?" they asked her.
"I am too busy to talk but I am working on it," she replied.
Then as they watched, Caterina attached herself to a really big leaf high up on a tree and began to spin a cover all around herself, this cover is called a cocoon. As the children watched, Caterina slowly disappeared completely into this cocoon which finally stopped moving and just hung there. After a while as nothing was happening the children went off home thinking that that was a silly sort of trick.
Most days the children rode over to the park to check on the cocoon but nothing at all was happening. After two weeks Madison went right up to it and gently tapped on the tree trunk nearby.
"Knock Knock" she called.
"Who is there?" came a tiny voice.
"Harry" said Madison
"Harry who?" came the tiny reply.
"Hurry up" called Madison.
But still nothing happened.
Finally one day Max and Madison noticed that the cocoon was moving slowly, so they sat down to watch. A split appeared at the top and slowly the cocoon broke open and a strange insect all wet and scrunched up slowly forced its way out of the cocoon. The children were puzzled, but where was Caterina? The strange creature crawled slowly up into a patch of sunlight on a nearby branch and began to stretch out. Then it opened its two big wings and sat while they slowly dried out in the warm sunshine. The children thought that it was the most beautiful butterfly that they had ever seen as it slowly fluttered down and sat on a leaf just next to them.
"What do you think of that trick?" asked a familiar voice.
It was Caterina! But she was not a caterpillar any more, somehow she had turned herself into this delicate beautiful insect perched in front of them. "Wow yours is the best trick of all" said Max.
"Congratulations Caterina," said Madison as the butterfly went flitting off to find herself a drink of nectar from some nearby wildflowers.
MADISON BUYS SOME SHOES
The door slams! A little voice calls. "Bye-bye mum I am going to the shops."
Mummy looks out of the window and sees Madison walking up the street with her shopping basket. She is all dressed up for her outing but mummy notices that Madison seems to have forgotten something. Shoes, Madison is not wearing any shoes. Hmmm, mummy thinks to herself, perhaps this might be a good time to teach little Madison how to shop, so she calls out for Madison to wait, grabs her purse and hurries to catch up with the four year old shoeless girl all dressed in pink.
Arriving at the shopping mall, mummy noticed that Madison's feet are a bit dirty from walking in the dusty street and they stopped near the entrance while mummy cleaned her feet with a tissue. Then they make their way straight to the shoe shop. Madison tells the sales lady whose name is Nicole, that she needs pretty shoes, so the lady measures Madison's feet carefully to find out which size she will need.
"Four, you need a size four" Nicole tells her "so now you can look around the whole shop and see which shoe you like in that size."
Well, Madison had never seen so many shoes! There were rows and rows of them all along the walls reaching right up to the roof. There were big ones, small ones, for ladies, men, boys and girls. Shoes for walking, shoes for running, shoes for dancing, shoes for school, shoes for rainy days, sandals for sunny days, shoes for the beach and fancy shoes for dancing and weddings. Some shoes had laces, some had buckles, there were shoes with zips, shoes with bows, shoes with straps, shoes with sparkles and even warm fluffy shoes to wear at home on cold winter nights, these were called slippers. Then there were so many colours from which to choose.
Madison was confused, shopping was so much harder than she had realised, how would she ever decide which pair to buy? Then mummy came to the rescue. She whispered quietly to Nicole who went down to the back of the shop, climbed up a big ladder and came back down with a small box marked on the front with a big number four. "Here try these on" said Nicole.
Inside was the most beautiful pair of pink sparkly shoes Madison had ever seen and she hurried to put them on her little feet. Then she gave mummy a really big smile, they were just perfect. They matched her lovely pink dress and Madison was now pink all over! Then Nicole put the shoebox in a shiny silver carry bag and tied it with pink and silver ribbons.
Mummy paid for the shoes and then they went off to a café where they had a sandwich and a glass of juice. As they both walked back to their house mummy explained to Madison that you always "do lunch" when you shop, in fact it is one of the most important rules of shopping. Madison said thank you to mummy for helping her today and decided that she was very lucky that her mummy was so smart and knew all of the rules of shopping. Madison was eager to learn more, so perhaps they could go shopping again next week?
MAX GETS A JOB
Farmer Joe is packing his truck today to take his produce to the local market. He has crates of tomatoes, boxes of eggs, jars of honey, goat's cheese and large vats of milk which he wants to sell. There are also some feather pillows and cushions made by his wife Mrs Jill from the feathers of her ducks. There seems to be a big load to take today and Farmer Joe stands by the truck for a moment and scratches his head.
"I do not think that I can manage this all on my own, I shall probably need some help," he mumbles to himself, "but Mrs Jill is away visiting her sister and there is nobody else around." Just then the boy from down the road came along on his bicycle and Farmer Joe had an idea.
"Hey Max may I see you for a moment?" Joe called out.
"Hello Farmer Joe, I see you are off to the market today" said Max.
"Well yes, but I have a big load today and am sure that I will not be able to set up my stall and sell all of this by myself. Do you think that your parents would allow you to came along and give me a hand?" asked Joe.
Max thought it was a great idea as he had always wanted to go to the weekly market and was happy that he finally had a chance to do so.
"Of course, I will just ride home and check that it is okay with mum and I will be right back," said Max excitedly. Before long Max returned wearing his backpack which contained lunch and snacks which his mother had prepared for him. He climbed up into the cabin of the truck next to Farmer Joe and off they went.
It did not take too long to drive to the marketplace just on the outskirts of town. Farmer Joe parked in his usual spot and then he and Max began to unpack the goods from the truck, which Farmer Joe called his produce. Soon everything was neatly arranged on the stall and people were already waiting to buy the farm fresh goodies. Joe and Max were so busy for the next few hours serving their customers that it was only when he began to feel really hungry that Max realised that it was lunchtime already. Wow this is really hard work Max thought.
When he and Joe had finished their lunches Max saw that most of the produce had been sold and there were only a few jars of honey and one container of goat's cheese to be sold. Farmer Joe noticed this too.
"Max you have been a big help today, why don't you go and have a look around the market and I will take care of the stall by myself this afternoon." Farmer Joe said.
"Thanks," said Max as he packed away his lunchbox and started to walk around.
Some farmers had brought along animals to sell and Max saw pigs, goats, sheep, chickens and ducks waiting in cages and pens for someone to buy them. Max was very happy that Farmer Joe did not sell his animals, as many of them were good friends of Max and his sister.
Max had brought along some of his pocket money so he treated himself to a ride on the merry-go-round. Then he bought popcorn to munch on as he wandered all around the market place watching the parents and children enjoying themselves. He bought a red balloon for himself and a pink one to take home to Madison, then it was time to help Farmer Joe pack up and drive home again.
Excerpted from The Excellent Adventures of Max and Madison by Grandma Bette Copyright © 2012 by Grandma Bette . Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsClarence the Cuckoo....................6
A Fish Tale....................9
Caterina and her Magic Trick....................12
Madison Buys Some Shoes....................15
Max gets a Job....................17
Percy the Pesky Possum....................20
I will give you the Drum....................23
Charlie goes Exploring....................27
Marianna the Water Maiden....................30
What Creature is that?....................33
A Delay at the Airport....................36
The Helpful Little Clouds....................39
Duck Down and Keep Warm....................42
The Circus Comes to Town....................45
Birds of a Feather....................47
A Day at the Zoo....................50
Morning Tea with Max and Madison....................54
The Secret Garden....................57
Is Percy Playing Possum?....................59
The Lost Little Puggle....................68
The Shape Shifter....................71
The Steam Train....................74
The Fairy Tree....................77
The Clown with the Little Pink Nose....................81
The Martin House?....................83
Penelope the Penguin....................86
Maxie goes Flying....................90
Owen the Odd Sock....................92
Captain Max and the Whales....................96
Christmas is Coming....................102
What is it Ralph?....................105
The North Pole Ninja....................108