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Max's Words Hardcover – August 8, 2006
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From School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
So I am quite surprised to report that I haven't read a book in a long time where the kids were so totally sucked into the story as they were with this one. They were with me every second, right to the last page and they loved it. It's not high drama or even very much of a plot, but my kids seemed to be totally captured by the idea of cutting out words as a collection. Then when Max started putting his words together to make a story, they were honestly on the edge of their seats waiting to see what would happen. Surprised me, for sure.
I didn't try it below 2nd grade and all my students needed some discussion beforehand about what a collection is and how people collect stamps & coins. But once they were grounded in the concept, the book managed to engage all my students, even the somewhat jaded 5th & 6th graders.
Instructionally this book could be useful in a number of ways and combined with the fact that the kids love it, I have a feeling this book is going to become one of those classic media center mainstays.
"I've got a thousand stamps," said Benjamin.
"When I get a few more coins, I'll have nearly five hundred," said Karl.
"And when I have a few more words, I'll have a story," said Max.
You go, Max! But dontcha know that once his brothers catch wind of it, they try to elbow him aside and take over.
Big brothers, who needs 'em. I have three myself, and I even inherited the stamp and coin collections after they were no longer cool. So I know what I'm talking about. That Max is out there snipping syllables for the rest of us.
And what's with these Russian illustrators? They're starting to make the homegrown variety look bad. Sure, Kulikov lives in Brooklyn, but you know what they say. You can take the boy out of the Hermitage but you can't take all that Eastern iconography out of the boy.
Max radiates. Max looms. Max is the only one in a comfy sweater instead of a stuffy suit, so you know he's cool.
And Max seems to bend the picture plane so all points lead to Max, even when he's pushed to one side.
A keeper, this one. You mark my words -- and Max's.
Banks and the very talented illustrator, Boris Kulikov, begin with three boys: Karl the coin collector, Benjamin the stamp collector, and Max--who can't think of anything to collect. To make matters worse, Ben and Karl refuse to share their collections with Max.
Suddenly, and to the derision of his two friends, Max decides to collect words. Max proceeds slowly but diligently, never reading words bigger than he can digest. With a little confidence, Max moves on to bigger and bigger words, and then to words he doesn't even know! As he embellishes his vocabulary, Kulikov throws in some clever visual puns; the shape and form of the written words reflect their meanings: The word "Baseball" is in the shape of a bat, the "O" in the word "dogs" is a collar, "hungry" is written on paper that has a big bite. "Alligator" and "crocodile" are long words with spikey teeth along their edges, together they form the upper and lower jaws of something one might call a "crocogator."
Through Max's testing of words and word order, Banks and Kulikov also explore the power of syntax: Word order can make a big difference! Max discovers (and we share this through the pictures), that "A Blue Crocodile Ate the Green Iguana," has a different meaning than "The Blue Iguana Ate the Green Crocodile," a difference particularly significant to the iguana and the Croc!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent encouragement for kids who love to read and use words in creative manner. Enjoyed by kids and adults!Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great book to introduce sentence writing and inspiring students to create words.Published 12 months ago by Shannon
I am 8 years old. I like this book. I thought it was really funny and it showed me how to share.Published 15 months ago by Rachel Chrestman
My preschool class loved this book. We started our own word collection and wrote stories like Max did.Published 15 months ago by K.G.
I use this before introducing word study to my 6th graders. Yes, it is lower level, but what child doesn't love a picture book?!?!Published 19 months ago by Jennifer M. O'brien
I loved Max's Castle. This book-- Max's Words-- is far less compelling. The story is not as lively, and the beginning fails to draw in my child. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Laura