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Max's Words

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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  451 ratings  ·  115 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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Reader Q&A

Fooling Ewe by Mike DemersMax's Words by Kate BanksAmelia Bedelia by Peggy ParishCdb! by William SteigDear Deer by Gene Barretta
Picture Books using Wordplay
2nd out of 28 books — 21 voters
The Snatchabook by Helen DochertyThe Boy Who Loved Words by Roni SchotterLibrary Lion by Michelle KnudsenThe Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver JeffersDorothea Duck and Her Little Companion by Jennifer K. Lafferty
Picture Books for the Bookish
18th out of 20 books — 3 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 770)
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Miriam
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.
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Amanda
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
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Olivia Bailey
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 stude ...more
Heidi
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
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Laurie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cheryl
Reminded me of nothing so much as magnetic poetry. The brothers were more interesting characters than Max, though.
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
...more
Cherina
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
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
Beverly
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
...more
Simone
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
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Chris
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
...more
Karina
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 end ...more
Sue Pak
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
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Ms Threlkeld
The perfect book for a word nerd like me! Max wants to collect something, just like his two brothers, so he decides to collect words, which eventually turn into a story. This could prompt some great writing and story telling activities!
alana
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
...more
babyhippoface
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 t ...more
Brandi
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 cente ...more
Sarah D'Arco
Max wants a collection, just like his older brothers. He discovers that words are a valuable thing to collect because you can use them to create stories.
Katina
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 studen ...more
Sharon
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 ide ...more
Sam
Kaity loves this one! The illustrations are cute but the magic of words is the real show-stealer.
Jordan Lee
Max just wants something to collect. He sees his brother's collections of stamps, and coins and they will never share with Max. So Max decides to start his very own collection. This collection consists of words. With these words Max makes phrases and then even stories. This book could most definitely be used in the classroom. I would use it by having a read-aloud, and then do an activity in which the students cut out words from magazines and newspaper, and then use those words to make stories. T ...more
Jackie
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
...more
Christine
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
Lori
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
...more
Randi
3 1/2 stars. The illustrations were well-done and very detailed, though I must say the style is not my favorite. I could have done without the "sharing is good" moral feel, but I still enjoyed it. I would definitely consider using this in my classroom as an introduction to some writing activities; it would be fun to read this to middle schoolers and then have them make their own collaborative word collections and stories, as Max does. Definitely recommended if you like stories about words or wri ...more
Amanda
Makes connections to the power of words. Unlike his brother's stamp and coin collections, when Max changed the order of his word collection it made a big difference, and when he put them together it made a thought.
Students could start their own word collections like Max. They could have a baggie with intesting words they found in magazines or newspapers, or like Max could print words they didn't know from books. Students could be put in groups and try to create their own stories.
Wendy
What a FUN idea!!!
Jennifer
I'm a huge fan of Kate Banks. Her writing reminds me of Charlotte Zolotow (my favorite children's author); in fact, she won the Charlotte Zolotow award with Night Worker. Max's Words is just delightful, both the writing and illustrations. All Max wants is to be part of his brothers' world, and when they reject him he instead creates a better world that they want to be part of. The book is great at introducing new words and sentence formation and story creation. Enjoy!
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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
More about Kate Banks...
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