Art & Max

Book review by
Monica Mehta, Common Sense Media
Art & Max Book Poster Image
Award-winning picture book illustrates the creative process.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids will learn something about different art media and may be inspired to try some art experiments of their own.

Positive Messages

Challenges kids to think about creativity and inspiration -- and imparts a lesson about always being willing to learn.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Each lizard learn something during the course of the book that they can apply to their art -- and more!

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the illustrator of this fast-paced, captivating book, David Wiesner, is a three-time Caldecott Medal winner. This year Wiesner was named Illustrator of the Year by the Children's Book Council at the 2011 Children's Choice Book Awards after kids across the country voted for their favorite illustrator at bookstores, school libraries, and online, casting over 500,000 votes. His book imparts a lesson about always being willing to learn and will encourage kids to think about creativity and inspiration -- they may even want to try some art experiments of their own.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJanelle Brin April 3, 2016

highly inspirational!

a beautifully illustrated book that details the creative process in an imaginative way! This is a wonderful book that will inspire you and your child. http://sp... Continue reading

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What's the story?


Max wants to learn how to paint from fellow lizard Art, an advanced artist. But when he misunderstands Art's direction to "paint me,"creative hijinks ensue. Max paints Art with acrylics, which then crack off with Art's anger to reveal pastels. Attempting to solve the problem, Max blows Art with a fan, revealing watercolors. As Art drinks water to feel better, the watercolors wash off to reveal a line drawing, which Max then pulls apart. He must then recreate Art, and the end product is truly inspired.

Is it any good?

Three-time Caldecott Medal winner David Wiesner does not disappoint in his latest book, which is essentially an exploration of artistic media through his characters. Each page of his bold, vivid illustrations is a piece of art in and of itself, and all of them are linked together with a humorous storyline that kids will connect to. It may even inspire them to try some art experiements of their own!

The creative process is deconstructed in the book's bold, captivating illustrations, which span a variety of artistic media - acrylic paint, watercolor and line drawing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the creative process. What inspires you when you draw? How do you decide what to draw, and what your drawing will look like?

  • Also, have you ever used the materials that Max paints with: acryclics, patels, watercolors, etc.? Which media is your favorite to do art with?

Book details

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