The Children's Book Compass

Max’s Castle

Posted on: November 23, 2011

Max’s Castle by Kate Banks.  Illustrated by Boris Kulikov.  (2011)  Pages not numbered.  FSG.  Grades 1-3.


Max finds some old toys and a set of alphabet blocks under his bed.  With those toys he entices his brothers into imaginative play that features constructing a castle, pirates, knights, a king and more.  Through ingenious word plays each new construction with the alphabet blocks becomes a new adventure.  For example, when Max and his brothers, Karl and Benjamin, begin constructing a secret passage in the castle it leads to a “Dark Dungeon. “What’s in the dungeon?”  asks his brother, Karl.   “In every Dark Dungeon there’s a Dragon,” said Max.    “And a Dog,” said Karl.  “And a GUARD,” said Benjamin.”    The boys’ game may inspire children to engage in imaginative play – so different from their pastimes with screens.  Kulikov’s colorful, creative illustrations perfectly compliment and extend the text.  Two other books about Max, Max’s Words and Max’s Dragon will also be a hit with young readers.


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