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Max's Bath (Max and Ruby) Board book – April 1, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Where would messy Max be without his older sister Ruby? Certainly not very clean, as evidenced in this amusing tale of young Max's somewhat disastrous bath. Of course, Max is the kind of active bunny who wears everything he eats. As his sister tells him, "You're still hungry, Max, because your sandwich isn't in you, it's all over you." And while Ruby tries her best to clean him up, Max is not quite with the program. When he attempts to eat orange sherbet and grape juice in the bathtub, fascinating complications unfold. Will anyone come out clean in this one? This delightful story is just one in Rosemary Wells's series of eight sturdy Max board books--including Max's Toys and Max's Bedtime--each measuring seven inches square and plastic coated to withstand lots of loving handling. The bright, strongly rendered line and wash drawings perfectly capture the essence of Max, a stellar example of the indomitable will of toddlers. (Baby to preschool) --Marianne Painter

From School Library Journal

PreSAMax is back, or at least retooled for the 21st century. Max's Ride and Max's Toys first appeared in 1979, while Max's Bath and Max's Bedtime both have a 1985 copyright. The texts for the most part read the same. The typeface has been changed from sans serif to serif. In Max's Ride, the concept words are now designed to reflect their meaning. So "down" now moves down the page and "under" dips under the line of text. Max's errant baby carriage hits a bump rather than a clothes basket. As for the illustrations, those bouncing baby bunny buns seem to have slipped south. Max is more of a dumpy pyramid shape with enormous feet and a softer contour line. The books are a bit larger and the color palette a tad lighter. Some of the facial expressions seem to give a different emotional emphasis. Purists may feel even Wells can't do better than the originals and shouldn't try. Still, more Max is better than less and Wells's special brand of deadpan humor is always welcome.AJudith Gloyer, Milwaukee Public Library
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Series: Max and Ruby
  • Board book: 12 pages
  • Publisher: Dial (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803722664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803722668
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.3 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,208,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in New York City, Rosemary Wells grew up in a house "filled with books, dogs, and nineteenth-century music." Her childhood years were spent between her parents' home near Red Bank, New Jersey, and her grandmother's rambling stucco house on the Jersey Shore. Most of her sentimental memories, both good and bad, stem from that place and time. Her mother was a dancer in the Russian Ballet, and her father a playwright and actor. Mrs. Wells says, "Both my parents flooded me with books and stories. My grandmother took me on special trips to the theater and museums in New York. "Rosemary Wells's career as an author and illustrator spans more than 30 years and 60 books. She has won numerous awards, and has given readers such unforgettable characters as Max and Ruby, Noisy Nora, and Yoko. She has also given Mother Goose new life in two enormous, definitive editions, published by Candlewick. Wells wrote and illustrated Unfortunately Harriet, her first book with Dial, in 1972. One year later she wrote the popular Noisy Nora. "The children and our home life have inspired, in part, many of my books. Our West Highland white terrier, Angus, had the shape and expressions to become Benjamin and Tulip, Timothy, and all the other animals I have made up for my stories." Her daughters Victoria and Beezoo were constant inspirations, especially for the now famous "Max" board book series. "Simple incidents from childhood are universal," Wells says. "The dynamics between older and younger siblings are common to all families."But not all of Wells' ideas come from within the family circle. Many times when speaking, Mrs. Wells is asked where her ideas come from. She usually answers, "It's a writer's job to have ideas." Sometimes an idea comes from something she reads or hears about, as in the case of her recent book, Mary on Horseback, a story based on the life of Mary Breckenridge, who founded the Frontier Nursing Service. Timothy Goes to School was based on an incident in which her daughter was teased for wearing the wrong clothes to a Christmas concert. Her dogs, west highland terriers, Lucy and Snowy, work their way into her drawings in expression and body position. She admits, "I put into my books all of the things I remember. I am an accomplished eavesdropper in restaurants, trains, and gatherings of any kind. These remembrances are jumbled up and changed because fiction is always more palatable than truth. Memories become more true as they are honed and whittled into characters and stories."

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By slomamma on July 18, 2001
Format: Board book
This is one of the Max board book series that also includes Max's Birthday, Max's Toys, and Max's Bedtime. They are supposedly intended for children from birth to age 2 or so. There are also several non-board books about Max (Max's Chocolate Chicken, and Bunny Money are my favorites) with longer stories designed for slightly older children.
Forget the designated ages. I told my teenage son I had written a couple of reviews of children's books for Amazon and he said, "Don't forget to review Max." He STILL loves them, and wants everyone to know how good they are. When he was 10, he loved reading them to his baby sister, and I understood how he felt. When he was a toddler, the Max books were the only children's books I read that REALLY made me laugh.
Max and Ruby are brother and sister bunnies. Ruby's a little bossy. Max always gets around her in the end. But their relationship remains a genuinely sweet and loving one. Small children, I think, just love the clean-lined, simple pictures, and the striking expressions on Max and Ruby's faces. But any adult or older child who reads the books will see Max as one of the great trickster characters of all times, and Rosemary Wells as one of the most insightful writers around on sibling rivalry.
Do NOT let any child - yours or anyone else's you know - get through being a toddler without meeting Max.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By History_of_Art_Geek on November 16, 2002
Format: Board book
Laugh aloud with Max, as his big sister Ruby endeavors to give him a bath. Max, a typical little "boy" bunny has just finished eating his lunch, and as with most toddlers, half of his lunch is all over him rather than in his belly. Big sister Ruby decides Max needs a bath, so as he waits for the tub to fill, Max enjoys some orange sherbet, and a cup of grape juice. He decides his bath would be more fun eating the sherbet in the water, so as one can expect, the sherbet finds its way into the bathwater and Ruby must start over. The same thing happens with the grape juice; consequently Ruby decides to give Max a shower, "You're going in the shower to get CLEAN, said Ruby." The story ends with Max pointing at Ruby's dress saying, "DIRTY," because in her attempt to bathe her little brother, she accumulates bits of orange sherbet and grape juice all over her dress. Max's expression is priceless!
"MAX's Bath," is an adorable tale about clean and dirty that any "bunny" will find amusing. This little board book measures 7" x 7" x ¼", and is simply illustrated; yet the images are colorful and expressive for easy comprehension. The text is very short; only ten pages long, and embraces humor, which is always popular among children and adult alike. Birth and up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 10, 2000
Format: Board book
These Max books, by Rosemary Wells, make terrific gifts. The board books have about 8-10 pages. The story is told with words and pictures. Max, and his sister Ruby (who is the caretaker) are quite adorable themselves. They have fun even while doing chores - taking baths, going to sleep. These books are easy enough that kids feel they are "reading" them quickly. They can also identify with the activities in the books.
In this one, Max takes a bath, with grape juice and sherbet joining him as "boats." Eventually a second bath is required, and finally, it's Ruby who needs a bath!
For a kid named Max, a few of these are a terrific gift (after all, he'll get a ton of Sendaks).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Missy Rinaldi on March 24, 2000
Format: Board book
WE LOVE MAX BOOKS! We have a couple of these greatly written, superbly illustrated books! Max just appeals tremendously to toddlers! My 2 yr old loves all of max's messiness and his sisters non stop job to get him clean! Cute bath book, about cleaning up. A 'SURE HIT'.
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By Anna M. Ligtenberg VINE VOICE on September 8, 2008
Format: Board book
ISBN 0803701624 - Every now and then, the critics all agree. The back of Max's bath proclaims they all agree on Max - and like him. I almost feel as if all I can add is "me, too!"

Max ends up wearing a good portion of his sandwich, so Ruby orders a bath. While she readies it, he eats sherbet and juice and when it's time to get in the tub, he takes the sherbet along, dying the bath water - and himself - orange. He repeats this in a new bath with the juice and ends up dirtier still. Ruby finally gives up and makes him take a shower and she plans to get him clean. As the nearly tie-died Max becomes his usual fluffy white self, he points to Ruby, now wearing his mess, and pronounces her dirty.

Max and Ruby are fun siblings. Ruby, as the older sister, is a bit bossy and Max, as the younger brother, allows himself to be bossed, sort of. It's a cute relationship that anyone can appreciate. Young readers will find the silly tale hilarious and learn, at least, clean and dirty. The illustrations are fun, on plain brightly colored backgrounds without much detail to distract focus from the images which really are a part of the story.

- AnnaLovesBooks
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By A Customer on June 6, 2003
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
This book was cute but in one way it was a little confusing. Max and Max's sister appear to be about the same size in most of the pictures so on a first read through I was confused as to why Max was talking in single words and his sister in full ten word fully grammatical sentences. Then it dawned on my that he was supposed to be a lot younger than she was? The pictures are cute, the story charming but I wish Max had been drawn as much smaller so that he was obviously a younger brother. It would have made more sense to me.
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