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Max Makes a Million (Viking Kestrel picture books) Hardcover – October 1, 1990
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From Publishers Weekly
In this bohemian celebration, Max the dog, the poet, the dreamer, is back. His struggle for acceptance since Hey Willy, See the Pyramids has not been easy--Max has had to post his poems on a wall at the corner of Pastrami and Salami Streets for his fellow New Yorkers to see. Even as he pines for Paris, Max admits that New York City is fine by him: " . . . a jumping, jazzy city, a shimmering, stimmering triple-decker sandwich kind of city." In this unique blend of reality and fantasy, intermingled words and images seem influenced by such strange sources as Mamie Eisenhower's wardrobe, the Jazz Age and the Theatre of the Absurd. Banter that rings with sophistication is well matched by the esoteric illustrative approach readers have come to expect from Kalman. Although there is much to glean from an unhurried single reading, this fanciful creation yields its greatest treasures through repeated visits. All ages.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“The sarcastic wit, absurd non-sequiturs and eclectic diversions, not to mention the naïve drawing and painting style of this and later books, particularly appealed...Maira helped found a new genre of picture books that employed kinetic type composition as an expressive means of marrying word and image...Maira’s major protagonist, a dog named Max, became an instant classic, winning children’s hearts and book awards.” —Eye Magazine
"In this unique blend of reality and fantasy, intermingled words and images seem influenced by such strange sources as Mamie Eisenhower’s wardrobe, the Jazz Age and the Theatre of the Absurd. Banter that rings with sophistication is well matched by the esoteric illustrative approach readers have come to expect from Kalman. Although there is much to glean from an unhurried single reading, this fanciful creation yields its greatest treasures through repeated visits." —Publishers Weekly
"This whimsical extravaganza—clever and urbane—celebrates New York’s wildly varied cosmopolitans while recounting how the hero, who is a dog and a poet, finally gets a publisher and will be able to realize his dream of going to Paris. Accompanied by witty illustrations that make sly references to other artists." —Kirkus Reviews
"Every now and then, a character in literature exerts a kind of magnetic field on the reader. The force of his or her personality, speaking in a fully individualized voice, grabs us like a carnival barker and just won’t let go. Holden Caulfield had that effect on a generation; Augie March came close; there have been a few others as well, but their voices aren’t necessarily limited to ‘grown up books.’ Especially now that Max, dreamer, dog, poet, has had his say." —Booklist
"Maira Kalman’s marvelously inventive gifts really shine in the picture-book format. I’ve long felt that her artwork, with its playful use of color and perspective, provides kids with a fantastic organic introduction to the manifold varieties of art." —Lisa Pliscou, author of Dude --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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But when my grandchildren ask me what book I want read to me before bed time I invariably tell them "Mad Max Makes A Million." "But we just read that last night, Grampy. How about 'No Kiss for Mother' [Tomi Ungerer's 1973 masterpiece] for a change?" "Tomorrow maybe," I tell them. "I want to listen to Max read his poems one more time." Max, the canine poet, lives with "Ida and Morris Stravinsky in the spacious Stravinsky apartment" in Manhattan. He leads a dog's life, with amenities too numerous to mention. But, as he says, "I have the roots. Now I want the wings." He wants to take his show on the road. Paris.
But he's broke. As he says, "Ha! Plane tickets cost money. Mazuma, shekels, semelians." If only he could sell his poems, maybe, just maybe, he could make it to "Paris. The city of dreams. The city of lights. The city of love." So there you have the plot. Will Max sell his poems, make a million, fly off on his new wings to Paris? Think I'm going to give the ending away? Not on your life. But I will let you in on the reason I want the grand kids to read me this book before I go to bed: "If I didn't mention before, I should mention now. This book is about dreamers. Wishful thinkers. Dreamy Blinkers. Crazy Nuts." Do you really wonder why I'm crazy about it?
End note. Maira Kalman is one of those wonderful graphic artists/writers - Ben Katchor and Chris Ware also come to mind - whose take on city life hits all the right notes. It is to Penguin's great credit that they appreciate her gifts and see to it that so many of her wonderful books stay in print.
Max the dog, a dreamer and he sells his book and he makes money. Enough to go on a trip to Paris.
His dream is to sell his book of poems and to live in Paris. Anybody can achieve what they set their mind to do.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).