Max and Xam are the very best of friends - until they fall out over who is more popular! Determined to prove the other wrong, their exploits bring new meaning to the phrase ‘making friends’. A hilarious and delightfully far-fetched story about the meaning and value of real friendship.
Ariane has been drawing all her life, but only caught the picture book bug while working as an Au Pair near Chicago. She fell in love with all the picture books in the libraries she frequented. Never did it occur to her that she could do such a thing herself. Fast forward and a Psychology Degree and Masters in Children’s Book Illustration later and now in London, UK, her dream came true and she got her first picture book—Ice in the Jungle—published. She often bases her stories on her own experience, anecdotes and even research. With her books, she hopes to show children and adults alike how we can all live and learn together, no matter who we are or where we are from.
On her inspiration for the characters Max and Xam:
Max and Xam is all about being right—but at what cost? Sometimes it is better to think about what is most important: being right, or a friendship. I do love the characters a lot. I think they are the best of buddies. Their faces are modelled on African masks. While visiting Geneva once, I went to an exhibition about masks. It wasn’t a big exhibition, but it was very diverse and made me feel like I travelled the world when I left. I did many sketches of the masks and months later when I created the story those masks were still influencing me and finally found their way onto the page. Max and Xam are both also a bit like sloths, that’s why they have such long claws. I wish they were real, I’d love to give them a big fluffy hug.