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MAX THE CHAMPION by Sean Stockdale


by Sean Stockdale ; Alexandra Strick ; illustrated by Ros Asquith

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-84780-388-7
Publisher: Frances Lincoln

A sports-obsessed boy makes his way through his day in winning style.

No matter the endeavor, Max imagines himself in a competition. As he races downstairs to breakfast, in his head he is running a road race. As he zooms through writing lessons in school, he imagines throwing a giant, pencil-shaped javelin. Asquith’s active, spindly lines and licks of watercolor include at least one person (usually a kid) in both Max’s real life and his dream world with some seemingly limiting physical condition. This lets readers appreciate that if you have a guide dog, that shouldn’t stop you from tobogganing, or a wheelchair from taking to the ski slope, or a leg brace from a turn at bat, or an occluder from bike racing. Acceptance is both the issue and the nonissue here; Max sees no barriers to his friends’ participation in his imaginary games—or his own (Max evidently has asthma). The actual plot is rather flimsy, with Max’s school winning an entire tournament in just one page—but that’s not the point.

This is not a subtle book, but its heart is absolutely in the right place.

(Picture book. 4-8)