Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Max's Dragon

Max's Dragon

Spring 2008 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Kate Banks
Illustrator: Boris Kulikov
ISBN: 978-0-374-39921-4
Hardcover Price: $16.95
Max is at it again, this time collecting rhyming words and using their power to gradually entice his two disbelieving and somewhat gormless brothers into an imaginative world populated by dragons and dinosaurs. In days of yore, there was a rhyming game called "hinky pinkies" and kids played it in the back seats of cars (pre-video-games), on playgrounds (pre-organized sports) and any other time when there were a few unstructured minutes to spare. How nice to see it-or its cousin-revived between the covers of a book. Kulikov's round-faced round-eyed kids, his rich sun-infused palette, and his tilted perspectives all combine to give this tale an other-worldly drama eminently suited to a story where kids find a dragon in a wagon and hit a ball "through a wicket and into a thicket." And because youngsters who hear this book (or read it themselves) may actually find themselves batting rhyming words around, the kid-connection is even stronger than in Max's first, slightly more esoteric adventure.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2008 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.

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