Author: Kathi Appelt
Illustrator: Penelope Dullaghan
Publication Date: June 11th, 2019 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Summary: Fish and birds and lizards and socks…is there anything Max won’t attack? Watch your ankles and find out in this clever, rhyming picture book about a very naughty kitty cat.
Max is a cat. He attacks. From socks to strings to many a fish, attacking, for Max, is most de-lish. But how many of these things can he actually catch? Well, let’s just say it’s no even match.
About the Creators: Kathi Appelt is the New York Times best-selling author of more than forty books for children and young adults. Her first novel, The Underneath, was a National Book Award Finalist and a Newbery Honor Book. It also received the PEN USA Award. Her other novels include Angel Thieves, for young adults, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, a National Book Award finalist, and Maybe a Fox, one of the Bank Street Books Best Children’s Books of the Year. In addition to writing, Ms. Appelt is on the faculty in the Masters of Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in College Station, Texas. To learn more, and to find curriculum materials and activity pages, visit her website at kathiappelt.com.
Penelope Dullaghan is an award-winning artist with an attack-happy cat of her own. The main difference is that Rainy, her cat, is dark gray instead of blue. Penelope and Rainy share many favorite hobbies, including watching activity at the bird feeder, collecting interesting bugs, and outstretched snoozing in sunbeams. Max Attacks is Penelope’s debut picture book. Visit her at PenelopeDullaghan.com.
Praise: A paean to the pleasures of having a cat companion, this catalog of Max’s actions should win plenty of accolades: Max, a million; readers a million-plus. (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
Appelt writes with catlike flexibility and bounce (Publishers Weekly)
“Max is sure to be a hit.” (School Library Journal)
Review: Both the illustrator and author have to be cat owners and cat lovers because Max’s story is obviously a narrative directly from a cat’s brain. Well, a narrative directly from a very rhythmic and rhyming cat 🙂
Appelt does a wonderful job using rhythm to capture both how focused a cat gets when it has chosen whatever it has chosen as well as the ease that cats are distracted by another thing and loses all focus. As you read, you notice the rhythm changes between slow and focused and choppy and jumpy. This masterful poetry mixed with the fun illustrations that capture all of the emotions and movement of max.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Max Attacks will first and foremost be such a fun read aloud. Kids will love Max’s story and teachers will love the rhythm and rhyming in Appelt’s writing.
- Choose a different pet and use Appelt’s text structure and Dullaghan’s illustration style to create your own spread.
- What are some examples in Max’s story that fit the personality of a cat?
- How did rhythm effect Max’s narrative?
- What are some examples of the illustrations capturing a cat’s movement? Personality? Focus?
Read This If You Love: They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel; Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper; Kat Kong by Dav Pilkey; Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel; I Hate My Cats by Davide Cali
**Thank you to Barbara at Blue Slip Media for providing a copy for review!!**