A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this story is written with minimal text and punctuated by cartoon illustrations. Kids will relate to Max's struggle to communicate in writing and will be motivated to make lists, as the book jacket suggests.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Max has not yet learned to talk, read, or write, so how can he convey his yearning for Red-Hot Marshmallow Squirters? Cleverly, he takes his cue from older sister Ruby, who proficiently uses signs and symbols to communicate. Max experiences the frustration of learning a difficult skill, but finds out that persistence and ingenuity make it possible to achieve new goals.
Is it any good?
Max exhibits an important stage of learning to read and write as he invents his own symbol to get his message across in this entertaining story. When children scribble a message and expect adults to be able to read it, they are demonstrating their understanding that people communicate through written symbols. With support from adults and meaningful opportunities to engage in pretend writing, they gradually begin to recognize traditional symbols, such as the letters of the alphabet.
Ruby and Max's use of written symbols is integral to the story line and a focal point of the illustrations. Writing is further emphasized by close-up insets of the yellow-lined paper and the written messages of both characters. Rosemary Wells' cartoonlike style of drawing and her expressive bunny characters will keep children pleading, "Read it again!"