Author/Illustrator: Ed Vere
Age Group: 1-5
Synopsis: Max is ready for bed but during his goodnight rounds he can’t find the moon. An epic bedtime quest ensues.
The Low Down:
We’ve always seemed to have a wonderfully obsessive fascination with the moon. My mother loves telling stories about my young years and my quest to find the moon anytime it was dark outside. Bug seems to have inherited this trait from me. Anytime we venture outside at night, a frantic search for the moon ensues. If by chance it’s visible during the day, the endless questions and skyward gazes of awe are par for the course. Bug’s not alone though. The moon seems to provide endless enchantment for young ones. The ever peaceful, glowing companion to the stars that sometimes favors us with a surprise daytime visit is a object of beauty, wonder, and awe. Ed Vere seems to tap into that perfectly with one of our favorite cats, Max.
Max is normally quite energetic. So while I wouldn’t even think of reading Max the Brave as a bedtime story, Max at Night has become a beloved bedtime favorite. We follow Max as he gets ready for bed and bids his companions a good night. It’s only when Max’s friend, Moon, is gone that we slightly stray from the calm cadence that the story has already fallen into. Vere continues a soothingly repetitive line of questioning as Max works his way through his friends and the town, looking for moon. Each response he receives has a lulling quality to it. The night is dark and quiet, the dog is sleeping, the rooftops are silent. Each step that takes us closer to moon also helps us drift that closer to sleep. It’s all startled as Max loses his temper calls for Moon. However, in an almost maternal way Moon responds, accompanies Max home, and almost seems to tuck him in. If we read this at night Bug is almost assuredly near sleep by the time we finish.
Vere sticks with his normal full colored page illustrations but has obviously chosen with great care the color scheme that he uses. The colors are perfect for a bedtime story a bit darker but still rich. Max, as always, is so easy to pick out with his big round eyes, that so seem to mirror Bug’s as he searches for the moon. By far the best page is when Max finds Moon (which takes up a full page). The glowing aura that seems to emanate from it is breathtaking and eerily reminiscent of the real moon on a clear night. The stars, depicted through paint spray are artistic enough for me to enjoy and prettily add an extra bit of depth to each page.
Bug loves Max, who has become a staple in our home. It’s easy to understand why. Max is curious, adventurous, spunky, and gets as tired as Bug does after long adventures. And on moonlit nights when the moon is hiding behind a building or a cloud, I hear my own little Max calling: “Moon, where are you?”
- Use a soft, rhythmic voice while reading this one at night. Even when Max loses his temper you can use a subdued voice and still maintain an expressive reading.
- You and your little one can help blow the clouds away before turning the page to reveal Moon.
I need more!
Ed Vere’s Max books are fabulous. You can currently find Max the Brave and Max and Bird. I haven’t happened across the second yet but the first is an amusing story of mistaken identity. For more information about his other books check out: http://www.edvere.com/
Add to my library:
UK Amazon: Max at Night
US Amazon:Max at Night