MAX THE BRAVE
Written and illustrated by Ed Vere
(Sourcebooks Jabberwocky; $16.99, Ages 3-6)
★Autumn 2015 Kids’ Indie Next Pick!
Today we welcome a feisty, fearless new feline into the memorable mix of kitty picture book characters kids adore. Meet Max the Brave, a black kitten (seen on the cover sporting a red super hero cape), keen to chase a mouse. The catch is, Max’s not sure what a mouse looks like.
In this adorable and addictive book, described as a cross between Are You My Mother? and I Want My Hat Back, U.K. author and illustrator Ed Vere fills the pages with humorous attempt after attempt by Max to find the rodent. From an empty tin can to up in a tree, and from an elephant –
“Excuse me, but would you
happen to be Mouse?”
I’m not Mouse, I’m Elephant,”
“But I did just see Mouse skitter by.”
– to finally coming face to face with the mouse, but not knowing what he’s looking at, the laugh out loud moments build to an entertaining conclusion. Young readers will find themselves urging Max on, especially when he’s tricked by clever Mouse into believing that the nearby sleeping Monster is actually the mouse that Max has been seeking all along. The comedy that ensues when Max confronts the real monster (with pink toenails) adds to the action and excitement.
This play on identities will also delight parents since many of the characters Max meets on his quest are those who either fear cats or mice. This great read feels like a classic cartoon where we, as the audience, may know the outcome, but delight in the journey.
Bright artwork, fabulous facial expressions on every cute creature Max encounters, along with short sentences placed pleasingly on every page work together making Max the Brave a picture book worthy of multiple reads and huge smiles.
- Reviewed by Ronna Mandel