by Kate Banks; illustrated by Boris Kulikov
That whole "sharing" concept doesn't extend to big brother Benjamin's snooty stamp collection, or Karl's precious coins. What's little Max to do? When he picks up a scissors to start collecting words, you know he's got greater ambitions than just sniffing stamp glue or stuffing his piggy bank.
"I've got a thousand stamps," said Benjamin.
"When I get a few more coins, I'll have nearly five hundred," said Karl.
"And when I have a few more words, I'll have a story," said Max.
You go, Max! But dontcha know that once his brothers catch wind of it, they try to elbow him aside and take over.
Big brothers, who needs 'em. I have three myself, and I even inherited the stamp and coin collections after they were no longer cool. So I know what I'm talking about. That Max is out there snipping syllables for the rest of us.
And what's with these Russian illustrators? They're starting to make the homegrown variety look bad. Sure, Kulikov lives in Brooklyn, but you know what they say. You can take the boy out of the Hermitage but you can't take all that Eastern iconography out of the boy.
Max radiates. Max looms. Max is the only one in a comfy sweater instead of a stuffy suit, so you know he's cool.
And Max seems to bend the picture plane so all points lead to Max, even when he's pushed to one side.
A keeper, this one. You mark my words -- and Max's.