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Max's Words

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  648 Ratings  ·  132 Reviews
Max’s brothers have grand collections that everyone makes a big fuss over. Benjamin collects stamps and Karl collects coins, and neither one will share with their little brother. So Max decides to start a collection of his own. He’s going to collect words. He starts with small words that he cuts out of newspapers and magazines, but soon his collection has spilled out into ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 8th 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Fooling Ewe by Mike DemersAmelia Bedelia by Peggy ParishCdb! by William SteigMax's Words by Kate BanksDear Deer by Gene Barretta
Picture Books using Wordplay
4th out of 26 books — 22 voters
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William JoyceThe Boy Who Loved Words by Roni SchotterThe Right Word by Jennifer Fisher BryantThe Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver JeffersA Library Book for Bear by Bonny Becker
Picture Books for the Bookish
6th out of 43 books — 16 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 12, 2014 Miriam rated it really liked it
I wasn't totally happy with the frame narrative of the older brothers and their collecting, and how the author seems to disparage them -- it doesn't seem necessary to put down one hobby to make another look better -- but otherwise this story of a small boy who begins to play with words was quote good, especially for something that is clearly intended to be of educational value.

My favorite aspect of the story was the part where the brothers collaborate on making a story from the piles of words.
Nov 10, 2009 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: monarch-award
Banks illustrations are fabulous! I loved this book, my kids and I have already read it twice and each time we have found something that we missed when we read it the first time. The illustrations jump out at you and defiantly caught our eye. I love when the words become the pictures it really helped my children associate words with the picture if they were not familiar with them.

Max stood out with his red, spiky hair right at the beginning of this book. On the first page he was on the side of t
Grades K-3
Max's brothers collect stamps and coins, and they will not share their collections. Max decides to collect words. At first his words are small: at, but, the, but then his collection grows to include the words of his favorite colors, food, and animals. He starts collecting words he doesn't know, and soon, he begins writing stories. This book has an enjoyable plot and is a metaphor for learning to read and write. This is an exploration of how words can be combined and manipulated to form
Olivia Bailey
Nov 11, 2011 Olivia Bailey rated it really liked it
I loved this book. I would use this just as max did. I would have the students cut out words they know from magazines ( words they like, ate, played with, etc). Then I would challenge them to from word they dont know and look them up so it can be words they do know. While finding words they dont know, they will find more words that they do know. Next I would have them make sentences with the piles of words they have. Then they could turn thier sentences into stories. I love that this helps ...more
Apr 28, 2014 Laurie rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 19, 2016 Traci rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mentor-texts
This is a good book
Oct 13, 2016 Christine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mentor-text
Through Max's adventure, students can start to think about words they already know and use them to effectively work within their writing. This book can help with word choice and vocabulary.
Sep 24, 2016 Heather rated it liked it
I loved the story - the concept was so great. However, I was really turned off from the story by the illustrations; there was just something creepy about the images.

September 2016
Kellie Fronk
Sep 12, 2016 Kellie Fronk rated it really liked it
I really loved this book. The illustrations were creative and fun, they really brought to life the story being told. I would use this book in a classroom for children to learn sentence structure and how to create stories. I think the activity, cutting out words, could easily become an activity for the children to do.
Nathaniel Chattic
Grades: K-4th

Author Kate Banks creates a "story within a story" within the pages of this book. The use of text and space here is cleverly inventive. I enjoyed the creativity of layout by using the text to serve as a template for Max's word collection, to the point where the main text is telling Max's story. In addition, Boris Kulikov uses a combination of realism and detail with elements of asymmetric balance (with Max and his Alligator friend, and the Crocodile and little Snake in his story)and
Jun 26, 2016 Joyce rated it it was amazing
What I love about Max’s Words is that it shows early readers the magic of the written word. The story follows Max, a boy who envies his older brothers’ stamp and coin collections. Because his brothers refuse to share, Max decides to start his own collection—he starts collecting words. He cuts out them out magazines and newspapers, and ultimately begins shaping them into original stories. The illustrations even show the words coming to life and taking the shape of the things and creatures they ...more
Oct 21, 2008 Cherina rated it liked it
Summary: Max's brother each have a collection of special items. Max would really like an item from each of their collections, but they tell him no. Max doesn't know what to collect, so he brings cutting words out of newspapers, magazines, etc. He starts with shorts words, then gathers longer words and words fit in particular categories. Max collects a ton of words. He can rearrange them to make thoughts and ideas. Max's brothers are jealous; they can't do that. Max starts to compose a story. His ...more
Mar 15, 2011 Beverly rated it it was amazing
This book would work very well as a read aloud and to use in connection with a vocabulary lesson or writing sentences. (It would work well with a lesson on sharing, too.)

Students will enjoy hearing the story read aloud and may even be inspired to create their own word collections. Kulikov's excellent illustrations are designed around the stories that Max creates with his word collection. This will allow young readers to find clues to help them with the harder words.

In addition to showing how to
Rebecca Ann
I love quirky books about words, writing and books. This felt kind of likeThe Incredible Book Eating Boy or The Boy Who Loved Words. Max's brother collect coins and stamps and won't share, so he decides to collect words. He discovers that words are better than money or stamps because when you put them together you have a story. Soon his brothers are all to eager to trade their coins and stamps for words and max sees that sharing words are just as fun as collecting them. I loved the bold, colorfu ...more
Oct 05, 2010 Simone rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Author: Kate Banks
Publisher and Date: Frances Foster Books, 2006
Grade: 1st- 2nd

Summary: Max has two brothers who collect stamps and coins from around the world. So Max decides he is going to collect words. As Max collects words by shaking books, and flipping magazines, the words come to life in the illustrations and begin to tell a story of snakes, worms, and even crocodiles.

Review: Not only did I enjoy the colorful words Max found for his collection, I loved the relationship Kate Banks create
Dec 08, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
Banks, Kate - Max’s Words and Max’s Dragon - illustrated by Boris Kulikov - Frances Foster Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.
**Max has two brothers. One has a coin collection and one has a stamp collection. Max wants to have a collection of his own, so he starts collecting words - all different kinds of words. Soon enough, he has enough words for a story! A very imaginative story about making due with what you have - making lemonade out of lemons, etc. Even the idea of working together aris
Jordyn Agost
Apr 26, 2016 Jordyn Agost rated it really liked it
Shelves: family, great-lessons
Max’s Words is about a young boy named Max. He had to brothers who each ha d a very large collection, Benjamin collected stamps while Karl collected coins. Everyone was very impressed with their collections which made Max feel sad because he wanted his brothers to share and wanted something to collect. So he started collecting words and with them he could make his own stories. His brothers were skeptical at first but then they learned to love the idea and join Max.
Max just needed to accept his o
If you're looking for a book to inspire and motivate students to write, then this is definitely it! "Max's Words" is a story about a little boy named Max that starts his own unique collection of words; big words, little words, good and bad, words that are spoken to him, words that he didn't know before, and all other kinds of words. Throughout the book, Max realizes that words have meaning. He starts to rearrange words and creates sentences then goes on to add more and more, until he finally ...more
Sue Pak
Jan 11, 2012 Sue Pak rated it it was amazing
Max's brothers collects stamps and coins. Max wants to start a collection as well and decides to collect words. He starts off by collecting simple words such as, "a, the, ate, who, and, big", then collects all sorts of words. Eventually, he has enough words to create a story.

Shows how simple words put together can create a beautiful story. It also shows how your imagination can expand to create amazing stories.
You can use this book to motivate your children to write something to their best pot
Jan 15, 2008 babyhippoface rated it really liked it
Max's brothers have collections of stamps and coins they will not share, so he begins his own collection--of words cut from magazines--and before long he has enough to create his own stories. The cleverness of Banks' inventive and original tale is multiplied by Kulikov's clever paintings that depict Max's collected words as graphic representations of the items they name (the double-S in "hissed" is made of two snakes; the "h" in "hugs" is comprised of two arms hugging each other). A delightful ...more
I love this book! I wish I had brought it to school earlier this year when my 1st graders were first learning to write their own stories.

Max's brothers collect stamps and coins, so Max decides to start his own collection. He snips words of all sizes and fonts and lengths. Starting with small words he knows, Max then begins to cut more and more advanced words and learns their meanings. He then begins to arrange them in orders that change their meanings and realizes he is creating a story. Max's
Feb 21, 2015 Madison rated it liked it
Personal Reaction: Max’s Words is a sweet story about collections and how words are created. I liked this story because it took a different look on language building; collecting words into stories!

Purposes for Enrichment: When the main character is left out by his brothers, he makes a collection of his own and learns how cool words are and how they can make an endless amount of stories. It shows that collections don’t have to be of “normal” things!

Curricular Purposes: During language development
This story would have been a great tie to the collections story I just read the 2nd graders and our new goal of writing a story. I really appreciated how the illustrator, Boris Kulikov, brought the words to life, which gave the story such fun and engaging attributes. It is a great way to show children all the opportunities words can provide.
Feb 03, 2010 Katina rated it really liked it
Max’s brother Benjamin collects stamps, and his other brother Karl collects coins. Max’s wants to collect something too. Max decides to collect words. While his brothers laugh at his collection Max begins to build a large collection of words. “He collected words of things he liked to eat. Bananas, PANCAKES, ice cream He collected words that were spoken to him.” Soon his collection is admired by his brothers. This book is great for students in grades 1-4. Teachers can use this book to help ...more
This books talks about the abstract idea of "collecting words." Max, the book's main character, sees his brother's, mother's, and peers' collections of various items and decides to start a collection of his own: words. This book could be used as a mini lesson to talk about how writers write. Teachers could talk to students about noticing interesting, descriptive words and pairing unconventional words together to make an interesting simile. I believe this book would also be a great literacy ...more
The Brothers
Feb 08, 2016 The Brothers rated it it was amazing
This is a refreshingly unique story about a little boy named Max who has two older brothers - one who collects stamps and one who collects coins. Neither brother will share a stamp or coin with Max, so he decides to start his own collection. He collects words he cuts out of magazines and writes on slips of paper. In the end, his brothers both want to participate in Max's new collection because he can make stories with his words.

After reading this story, Asher (4yo) decided he too wanted to colle
Jan 31, 2010 Sharon rated it it was amazing
Max's brother each collect something. Karl collects coins. Ben collects stamps and Max doesn't have anything he collects. Nonetheless, just like a light bulb that went off suddenly in his head, he gets the great idea to collect...words! He collects so many words, in fact, that he can make a story! His brother initially think Max must be nuts but they eventually want to trade their coins and stamps for words. This is a great story about sibling rivarly and creativity. I was skeptical of Max's ...more
Sep 03, 2012 Christine rated it it was amazing
This is a great picture book to share in the classroom. It could serve as a great starting point for so many lessons on the importance of rich vocabulary. I want to use it to make a class story including one word from each student; maybe one they found at home in their reading. Another thing I would like to do is have student cut out and find interesting words to glue into their Writer's Notebooks to refer back to, which may help when they are suffering from writer's block or to inspire them to ...more
Feb 13, 2009 Jackie rated it it was amazing
Once there were three brothers: Benjamin, Karl and Max. Benjamin collected stamps, Karl collected coins, but Max couldn't come up with anything to collect...until he brainstormed and came up with the idea to collect words...flippy-floppy words, roly-poly words, and jolly-jumpy words. Words of every color and action, big words, little words, and words that made him feel good. Soon, Max knew he collected enough words to write a story...and so, he did.
Bright, imaginative illustrations in which Max
Mar 24, 2012 Lori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Read this outloud to children I volunteer with at an elementary school in West Philly.

This was a really fun book to read outloud for the kids I volunteer with! I think it held the attention of the second graders a little better than the kindergarteners, but both of those grades seemed to enjoy the story and the illustrations. It had a great underlying message of how fun it can be to share your collections with others, as well as the educational lesson of words create sentences, which then creat
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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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