Book review: Max’s Math, by Kate Banks, illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Banks, Kate. Illustrated by Boris Kulikov. Maxs Math. (Max’s Word series.) Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers. 2015. $17.99. 9780374348755. Ages 4-6. P8 Q7

Banks Maxs MathMax’s Math is the fourth book in the Max’s Words series. While the previous books in the series focus on Max’s affinity for language and words, Max’s Math is a slight departure from the norm; the subjects are shapes and numbers. Max travels with his two ever-present brothers to Shapeville and Count Town where they help the inhabitants solve problems—is that a 6 or an inverted 9? The usual wordplay and rhyming dialogue is missing from this volume. Instead, we find clever shape combinations, twin Einsteinesque mayors, and a nearly foiled Count Town countdown. Despite the differences, a visual and conceptual consistency is maintained through Kulikov’s illustration. The pictures in Max’s Math are less painterly than those in Max’s Castle (volume 3); however, this can be attributed to the requisite right angles found in Shapeville. This book is most successful at encouraging problem solving through critical thinking, not necessarily through mathematics. Perhaps Max’s Math denotes an evolution for the series, and a fifth volume may lend more insight into what the future holds for Max and his brothers.

December 2015 review by Lillian Curanzy.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s