Max Makes a Million

by | Nov 9, 2022 | Book Review, Fiction, Picture Book

Max makes a million (cover)

Book Details

Max Makes a Million
Maira Kalman. New York Review, hb, 978 1 68137 170 2, 2017, £12.99, 48 pp.
Fiction, picture book, 5-8 years

Max lives in New York with Ida and Morris Stravinsky. He is a poet and… a dog! He also has a dream. His dream is to live in Paris.

In the meantime, he walks to his studio introducing us to his wonderfully eccentric friends and neighbours. Then the telephone rings…

Maira Kalman brings a wonderful sense of the surreal to her story. Max is a dog of distinction – just look at his hat, and he observes his world with a poet’s eye and sense of rhythm. This is also reflected in Kalman’s art with its subtle references to famous artists of the early twentieth century; Chagall in particular. The result is intriguing, colourful and joyous. The book is designed as a whole with the text integrated into the illustrations often forming part of the design, as the Eiffel Tower, perhaps.

This is an enjoyable conceit but, even though the font is very definite and sans serif, might make it less easy to access for some; a book of character from the opening endpapers to the final cover. Originally published in 1990, it will make an interesting, lively addition to any collection.


Review by FMH