Max's Castle
Max's Castle
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Max's Castle

Written by Kate Banks & illustrated by Boris Kulikov
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Prices as of Oct 23

What Does Bookroo Think of Max's Castle

Prepare for a creative wordsmithing adventure.

Max’s brothers think he’s boring for staying in with his letter blocks when they’re planning to go out and play. But when they see Max use the letter blocks and imagination to do some impressive world building, they decide to join in the fun, and together they build castles, encounter pirates, and escape dungeons. As she did in Max’s Words, Banks will thrill readers with Max’s knack for wordsmithing; however, this time, it is not with Max’s ability to string words together into captivating stories, but instead to command a tale with letter blocks: “There are no weapons in my kingdom . . . I will turn your SWORD into WORDS.” Kulikov’s depiction of many illustrations out of letter blocks that also spell the word is a creative touch that allows Max to “twist” letter blocks to turn, for example, “battle” into “babble.” While the cleverness of the wordsmithing will only be appreciated by readers who can spell, kids of all ages will recognize letter blocks and enjoy seeing a traditional toy at the center of the story. It’s a praiseworthy detail that when Max’s brothers decide to join him, they follow Max’s lead and play with him, rather than dominating the play as older siblings. Kulikov’s distinct illustration style, influenced by his background in set and costume design, veers from the romanticized portrayals of adventure in much of children’s literature and gives Max’s story a theatrical feel. Characters are placed like actors on stage, and illustrations are laid out on the page as an audience would view a play.

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Book Details

Publication Date
October 25, 2011
Page Count
Reading Age
4 - 8 years
Lib. of Congress (LCCN)
ATOS® Book Level
Accelerated Reader® Points
Accelerated Reader Quiz
Accelerated Reader Interest Level

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Core Score - 62%

More than halfway there—keep going!

Depth Score - 25%

Just the barebones.

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