Max's First Word

Book review by
Jennifer Gennari, Common Sense Media
Max's First Word Book Poster Image
Kids will enjoy the siblings' relationship.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book expresses the complex relationship between siblings. Kids love it when the baby gets the last word.

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What's the story?

Ruby loves her baby-bunny brother, Max, and wants to teach him a few words. Parents and children will instantly recognize the realism of the interplay between them--bossiness, stubbornness, and exasperation--and will love the surprise ending.


Is it any good?

The loving yet bossy Ruby is determined to teach Max a few words, and Rosemary Wells has perfectly captured their relationship. "Back in your chair, Max," Ruby says, after Max breaks an egg she has given him. Ruby wants to be in charge, but in the end Max gets the final word.

The simple tale not only introduces new words to young readers but also makes them feel smart. Children will quickly learn to read this board book and delight in knowing the words baby Max doesn't say.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Ruby's efforts to teach her younger brother. How is she a good teacher?

Book details

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