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Max's Castle

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  230 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
When Max finds a pile of forgotten toys under the bed, his brothers Benjamin and Karl wonder what’s so special about some old blocks.So Max shows them.With some clever twists of both blocks and imagination, he constructs not only a castle but an entire adventure,complete with pirates and knights, a dark dungeon and a dragon.

This ingenious sequel to Maxs Words and Maxs Dr
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Teresa Moreland
Feb 14, 2016 Teresa Moreland rated it really liked it
Max’s Castle is a thrilling exploration of the creative mind, and a peek into the endless possibilities of a young child’s imagination.

The book begins when Max peers under his bed to finds a box of old toys. He shows his brothers an old letter block he’s found, and tells them he is going to build a castle. They laugh at him and find his discovery boring and immature. As Max builds his castle though, his brothers begin to see what Max sees. They quickly jump into this magical world and enjoy the
I am in love with the way Banks and Kulikov show that switching a few letters changes words. Max and his brothers use alphabet blocks to build a castle. Kulikov does a fantastic job with letter arrangement: Max is in the MOAT hanging onto a block that is angled with an M and a B when Benjamin says they need a BOAT. The story is cute, using the blocks to solve problems, like when the ADDER that is literally "in" the DARK DUNGEON (Banks capitalizes the words the boys have built with blocks) is cau ...more
Maria Burel
Apr 01, 2013 Maria Burel rated it liked it
I’m drawn by the imagination and word-play that embodies this book. Max uses playroom blocks to tell a story, and then to change the story by, for example, turning MOAT into BOAT. It was a little advanced for my child, requiring a basic understanding of spelling that she doesn’t quite have yet. I would recommend for primary grades. Even so, I felt the story was a little long for the target age group, I found myself losing focus after a time. There are also two other books in this series, Max’s W ...more
Molly O'Bryan
Feb 02, 2016 Molly O'Bryan rated it really liked it
Max’s Castle is about a boy named Max who finds old toys under his bed, which includes some old blocks. Max’s brothers do not understand what can be so much fun about some old blocks and toys so Max shows them how. Throughout the story Max uses the letter blocks to build a castle and other objects for their adventure to come. They have to face pirates, rat pies, dragons, and other things throughout their journal and defeat what comes in their way. Max uses the blocks to spell out objects that ca ...more
Following up on the success of the earlier titles, Max's Words and Max's Dragon, the always imaginative and never bored Max finds a long-forgotten box of toys under his bed. His brothers Benjamin and Karl watch as he uses the blocks to build a castle. Of course, each block contains a letter, which allows young readers to recognize certain words in the structure Max is putting together. Things get wilder and wilder as all three boys get involved in building, and the building turns into imaginativ ...more
Megan Renner
Apr 13, 2014 Megan Renner rated it really liked it
Banks, K. (2001). Max's castle. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

The story begins with the main character who's name is Max. He is very excited about an item that he has found under his bed. It is a block. Through out the story the last word of the first sentence on a page rhymes with the last word of the first sentence on the next page. Then there begins to be all kinds of different writing techniques that begin to form on the rest of the pages. Back to the story, the main character Max is
Jane G Meyer
Apr 03, 2013 Jane G Meyer rated it really liked it
My son would give this book five stars. (But this is my account :)) He has read it again and again, because there's so much to discover as you stare, and unravel the puzzles and the words. A very clever story, with a fabulous use of language... I think the story would be appealing to most boys, and many adventure-going girls.
Nov 10, 2011 Elisabeth rated it really liked it
Sometimes you play with words, and sometimes they play with you!
I have not read the first two books in this series, but found this while browsing for storytime books and thought it looked fun. Max finds some forgotten wooden alphabet blocks in his room and he and his brothers uses their imagination to create a castle with the blocks forming words that make up the features of the castle. I loved the illustrations of this fun and creative book, though it was a bit too long for my son. Recommended for ages 4-8, 3 stars.
Max Lamb
Jun 09, 2014 Max Lamb rated it it was amazing
Love the way that Banks show how words can be played with and the fun that can be had in playing. It was nice to read a children's book that has some depth and smarts. I will defiantly be reading this book to my daughter as she gets older!
Sarah Souther
Feb 05, 2014 Sarah Souther rated it really liked it
Castles, dragons, and knights are generally appealling. This book (and other books about Max) can be useful to kids who are having trouble with print recognition or understanding how the whole word thing works or why they should care.
Fahima 'leah'
Apr 21, 2014 Fahima 'leah' rated it really liked it
Fun story for a preschooler. They may not understand all the word plays but simple ones like "moat" and "boat" they may absorb. I think my 5 year old is beginning to understand some phonetics from this book he loves.
Scarlett Sims
Dec 12, 2011 Scarlett Sims rated it really liked it
Well, I personally loved this book but I think the age range is a little bit higher than the kids I'm teaching (who are like 5 and 6). The reason being that a huge part of what makes this book so enjoyable is the way Max rearranges the letters in his blocks to make words; for example, an adder becomes a ladder. Even the kids I teach who are advanced readers didn't fully appreciate that, despite the fact that I attempted to point it out each time. While they didn't get the full meaning of the boo ...more
Nicole Bergen
Oct 09, 2014 Nicole Bergen rated it liked it
Shelves: edrd-314
This book switched off between having a very distinctive frame and then other pages did not have as much of a frame and allowed the reader to envision the picture off of the page.
Better for the older ones than the EY with lots of play with letters and spelling but still OK for the concept of imaginative play and where it can take you...
Sep 23, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
The illustrations in this book are FAR more dynamic and clever than the writing. The writing isn't bad, but the illustrations are fantastic.
Michele Cirrincione
Aug 14, 2014 Michele Cirrincione rated it liked it
Shelves: younger-readers
2012-13 MD Black-Eyed Susan Nominee

I just wasn't a fan. It showed imagination but I felt a child might lose interest 1/2 way through.
Nov 19, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it
What a fun story! I'll echo others that enjoyed the word play with Max's blocks. Max and his brothers use the toys they've outgrown to create and imagine a wonderful castle. Along the way, they create and defeat a variety of exciting events. "Max took MORE BONE and made BEN'S ROOM." Older readers will definitely enjoy the word play. If using this as s read aloud for students, you will definitely want to give them time to absorb the illustrations and their own letters to play with words.

Debby Baumgartner
Jan 21, 2016 Debby Baumgartner rated it it was ok
Shelves: alphabet, toys
Max discovers a box of toys he and his two brothers had forgotten about from their early childhood. Alphabet letters add to the illustrations.
Jul 06, 2015 Jodi rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Very clever! We loved the wordplay and all the adventuresome turns the story kept taking. Fun!
Hmmmm. This one didn't really do it for me. The illustrations were fun though.
Aug 18, 2012 Sabrina rated it really liked it
Max, one of three brothers featured in the book, finds a box of alphabet blocks under his bed and from there the boys' imaginations take off on an adventure through a castle "built" of blocks. The illustrations are bold and bright. The kids will have fun listening to the words and scanning the illustrations for the letter blocks that make up the words in the text, looking at how the word ADDER becomes LADDER. Letter scrambles are very popular with my daughter, a ten year old about to start 5th g ...more
Christie Angleton
Mar 29, 2014 Christie Angleton rated it it was ok
I was into this one until the part where "knights get damsels."
Ms Threlkeld
Jul 20, 2015 Ms Threlkeld rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Fun celebration of imagination and the power of words.
Jun 20, 2015 Rose rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-time
Clever. A great book that plays with words :)
Jun 07, 2012 Maira rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
Max's Castle was a winner for the Maryland Blackeyed Susan Book Award. It's audience would definitely be primary more appealing to grades 2-4 because of the scramble and unscrambling of the letters to find the words. For example, when Max shows how he's in a catastrophe, he let's the reader see that in every catastrophe there is hope. It's a fun book to read. I think the fun in unscrambling words in this book is what would be appealing to the kiddos. I also think the illustrations are amazing!
T Crockett
Jun 29, 2015 T Crockett rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I read this with a 2 & 4 year old. They enjoyed it and had all sorts of questions about how Max and his brothers shrunk down to fit inside the castle etc. But the best thing about the book, the way Max switches a around the spelling on the blocks to make things happen, went over their heads. I'll be curious to read it with them again when they're beginning readers. Then I think they'll really get excited.
Aug 23, 2012 Debra rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a very clever story in which Max builds a castle using alphabet blocks. It's a little above my 5 year old's head. To fully appreciate the book, one would need to be able to read the words spelled out on the blocks. I'm careful to point out the words each time I read the book,even though he can't read yet. Regardless, he still loves the book and brings it back to me to read again and again.
OCLS Staff Picks
Jun 10, 2012 OCLS Staff Picks rated it it was amazing
Max finds a box of old blocks under the bed. What his brothers can't see is that with these blocks and a little imagination they will all go on an adventure.

Dream Big (Summer Reading Program 2012) recommended book

Available from OCLS in print.
Catherine D
Jan 09, 2014 Catherine D rated it liked it
Beautiful illustrations but the story didn't really do it for me. I did like that it's about boys using their imaginations though.
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Kate Banks has written many books for children, among them Max’s Words, And If the Moon Could Talk, winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and The Night Worker, winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award. She grew up in Maine, where she and her two sisters and brother spent a lot of time outdoors, and where Banks developed an early love of reading. “I especially liked picture books,” she says, “an ...more
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