Picture Book Review: Max the Brave by Ed Vere

maxthebrave25773980Review: Max the Brave by Ed Vere
Source: Digital galley courtesy of Sourcebooks Jabberwocky via NetGalley. Thank you!
Expected publication: September 1 , 2015 (as per NetGalley) by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Verdict: Very Good/Excellent

Book Description:

Are You My Mother? meets I Want My Hat Back in this hilarious picture book featuring your new favorite kitty

Max is a fearless kitten. Max is a brave kitten. Max is a kitten who chases mice. There’s only one problem—Max doesn’t know what a mouse looks like! With a little bit of bad advice, Max finds himself facing a much bigger challenge. Maybe Max doesn’t have to be Max the Brave all the time…

Join this adventurous black cat as he very politely asks a variety of animals for help in finding a mouse. Young readers will delight in Max’s mistakes, while adults will love the subtle, tongue-in-cheek humor of this new children’s classic.

I have been a fan of Ed Vere’s work since first reading Chick (which I actually first read in French!). Banana and Bedtime for Monsters soon followed- of which the latter has been a staple in my preschool storytime read alouds since it was released. I am happy to say that I can now add Max the Brave to my storytime reading repertoire as well.

As per the book’s description, Max the Brave is about a bold and fearless kitten who sets off to be a terrific mouse chaser. The only problem? Max actually doesn’t know what a mouse looks like! But never fear, for Max sets off to face other animals down in his search for a mouse…but what happens if one tiny and rodent-like resourceful animal doesn’t tell Max the truth?

Vere’s illustrative style is unique: simple and bold, with irreverent colour choices that I think makes his children’s work stand out. His text is also, in a similar vein of popular picture book authors such as Jon Klassen, Mac Barnett, Emily Gravett, Michael Escoffier or Adam Lehrhaupt, subtly subversive, mischievous and genuinely funny. Vere’s work keeps both adults and children intrigued and enthused, and that is always a bonus when it comes to picture book titles.

Overall, while Max the Brave can indeed be compared to the deception in Jon Klassen’s award-winning I Want My Hat Back or the innocent questioning in P.D. Easton’s Are You My Mother?, Vere’s narrative arc here is entirely its own entity and so delightful. I would highly recommend Vere’s newest title for fans of his previous work; for readers who enjoy clever and engaging stories; and for those looking to inject some terrific humour into their storytimes.

I received this book as a digital galley courtesy of Sourcebooks Jabberwocky via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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