Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Max Attacks by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by Penelope Dullaghan

In broad strokes, a blue cat with black stripes stalks across the pages of this funny book. Playful rhyming language, as playful as a hungry kitty prowling the room, accompanies Max's antics as he pounces on fish, scales a screen for lizards, chases a bird toy, and attacks socks. Max keeps returning to the fish, but when disaster strikes there's always his "bowl of crunchies" left to attack!

Appelt's skill with language is shown in the simple lines that trip off the tongue, making a fun read-aloud or an interactive book, encouraging kids to pounce, prowl, and leap just like Max. Dullaghan is a new illustrator, this being her debut book, and she matches nicely with Appelt's playful text. Max is a splash of blue paint on a gray-green background, leaping, exploring, and hunting his prey while the smug fish glide in pink and red circles in their bowl.

Verdict: Perfect for a lively cat-themed storytime, encouraging kids to get up and move like a cat, or cuddling up to giggle over Max's antics, this delightful new picture book is sure to be loved by children, be they feline fans or not. Even better, it will work as well for toddler as for preschool storytimes, joining the ever-shrinking collection of books that have both literary and artistic merit and appeal for younger, wiggly children.

ISBN: 9781481451468; Published June 2019 by Atheneum; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

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