Max at Night, by Ed Vere, is a picture book designed to get the little ones off to sleep. It tells the story of Max, a sleepy black cat with enormous yellow eyes. He has his milk and brushes his teeth and says goodnight to all his friends…but wait! Where is the moon? Max sets off to find the moon and say his good-nights.
Max leaves the comfort of home to climb big dogs and tall, tall trees to find his lunar friend. The plot is comfortingly repetitive, building up a soft relaxing rhythm despite the adventure. That is until Max cries out “MOOOOON! Where are you Moon?” It’s a wonderful line that’s sure to raise a few laughs. Its also forms wonderfully in the mouth, the elongated “-oo” sound being fun to say and hear.
Max at Night is a gorgeous book. The illustrations are simple and charming and the colour palette subdued to suit the theme of settling down to sleep. The latter point was the only complaint I had with the book, the writing is sometimes a little difficult to distinguish from some of the darker backgrounds.
The story concludes with a touching moment. Max finally finds the moon who lets our sleepy friend know that he could have said goodnight anywhere because the moon will always hear him. It’s a heartwarming message that could mean different things to different readers.
Max at Night is a lovely story. The parents will surely enjoy reading it as much as the children will enjoy hearing it.
Max at Night is available to borrow from Hillingdon Libraries. To search the Hillingdon Libraries catalogue visit: http://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/libraries or download the BookMyne App. More information about the BookMyne app can be found at http://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/bookmyne
By Mark Ulrich