Sunday, September 11, 2016

REVIEW: Max at Night by Ed Vere

***(3) out of 5 stars [for me]; ****(4) out of 5 stars [for the toddler in your life!]

Max at Night is a charming tale of a darling little kitten who wants to say goodnight to the Moon before turning in one night.  I wasn’t personally all that impressed with this book, but that isn’t to say that I don’t think it would be a good choice for a toddler. 

This is Max. Max is very sleepy. It's way past Max's bedtime. Max has drunk his milk. Max has brushed his teeth. Max has cleaned behind his ears. Now Max just needs to say goodnight...

Just in these first couple of pages I was highly annoyed.  First off, since most cats are lactose intolerant, I hate seeing books (especially recent ones) that perpetuate the myth of a cat enjoying a lovely bowl of milk – and not being sick afterwards.  Although kittens can tolerate cow’s milk better than adult cats, it still isn’t the best thing for them. 

Max is tired and all ready for bed, but when he can't find the moon to say goodnight to, he sets out to find it. But that's not as easy as Max had hoped... 

Max’s reasoning on how he might find the moon is actually quite sound, especially for a toddler.  But while I can see him climbing on top of the dog and even clambering up the tree, I have a hard time trying to figure out how he got on top of the house, let alone the skyscraper.  And I was a bit confused as to why the author chose to anthropomorphize the Moon but not any of the other inanimate objects with which Max (at least attempts to) interact.

Watching Max’s temper tantrum – when after much effort he is still unable to find the Moon – is quite amusing.  That it produces an answer to his dilemma is very fortunate indeed, for him and for the reader.

The actual interaction with the Moon is delightful, and it allows Max to begin the long journey home where he can finally go to sleep.  Children should especially enjoy that he takes almost the same route home – even walking over the sleeping dog – as he does when he sets out on his journey. 

The simple drawings are good in that there isn’t a lot for kids to explore or decipher in them, yet they are clear and concise enough to support the story.  The muted pallet is a nice touch for a book that is meant to be read at bedtime, as it keeps things from being too stimulating and provides a good segue into lights out. 

Overall, even though my excessively critical adult eye had some issues with this book, I do think it makes a pretty good choice as bedtime reading material for a toddler.

I received a free copy of this book from Sourcebooks, as part of their kickoff blog tour, in exchange for an honest review.

You can discover more about Max at Night here:
You can also connect with the author at:
Twitter: @ed_vere

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