Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're facing our fears in true seasonal style with a Children's Storybook that is sure to please both the eye, the mind, and the heart. Having celebrated its book birthday mere days ago, its fresh off the presses and ready for you to indulge in a little weekend repast. Without further ado, now arriving at breakneck speed down track one is today's book of choice...
G.P. Putnam's Sons Book for Young Readers
Max and Marla is an adorable read from start to finish. The moment my eyes lit on the cover, I knew I was in for something magical.
No, really! I'm not overstating about this book or its merry brethren. There's just something about this particular genre that captures your imagination like no other. It sets your mind reeling in so many directions from the simplest combination of words or beautifully complex illustrations. Things you may have never pondered come to light while those ideas you've ruminated about on and off over time finally reach a stage of full development. I'd like to believe that the reason for this magic is as simple as the freedom these books give us to interpret, explore, and change our worlds...and whose to say it isn't? You can't tell me that you haven't had your melted by or a smile grow from ear to ear after reading a storybook at some point or another. It brings out the kid in all of us and that's something we should never let go. Back to the book at hand...
The story is simple yet true. Dreams are not achieved lying down and life is much better with a friend by your side through thick and thin. Yes, the words certainly have a shine of their own, a fact I won't discount in the least, but for me, the illustrations had my heart from the start. I thought I recognized the style of the artwork and upon looking into the author's previous works, I did. (She's the creative mind behind the art in the Tallulah series!) That being said, even if I hadn't seen the style before, I would have fallen in love with these two. Max and Marla are equally adorable as they help each other reach their sledding goals and when the going gets tough, they...pull together even more because THAT'S what friends do! It was heartwarming to see them work as a team to get the sled back in tip top shape, even if one of them tuckered out before the job was completely done. When they were preparing for the day, the process of getting all bundled up for the weather had me in smiles for miles as little Marla's was wound up to her eyes in a scarf and Max wrapped his own to match. Their trips through the winter snow were beautifully represented with backgrounds that easily place you by their side as the wind whips and the snow flies. ~shiver~
In the end, the overall message is clear...one should never give up on your dreams, no matter how big or small THEY or YOU might be. Bookmarks up to the author on her first dual role endeavor. I can't wait to see what she has in store for us in the future. Recommended for readers of all ages, shapes, sizes, and species...after all, what would little Marla say if we excluded her woodland friends?
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About the author...
Alexandra Boiger grew up in Munich, Germany as the youngest of seven children. She studied Graphic Design at the Fachhochschule Augsburg before working in Feature Animation at Warner Brothers and Dreamworks. After working in animation, Alexandra decided to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a children's book illustrator, gathering a following as the illustrator of the popular Tallulah series. MAX AND MARLA is her debut title as both author and illustrator. Alexandra now lives in Northern California with her husband and daughter.
Special thanks to Katherine at Penguin Young Readers for the copy for review. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is available now via G.P. Putnam's Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
Until next time...happy reading!