Max and George by Cori Brooke

cover image

Ill. by Sue deGennaro. Penguin/Viking, 2013. ISBN 9780 670 07635 2.
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Picture book. Friendship. Anxiety. Being scared of your own shadow takes on an opposite meaning in this delightful book which shows Max and his best friend, George together. Max only sees George when he looks into windows, the car window, that of the train, the house windows, windows in the street and glass doors. They do everything together, and when George is happy, so is Max, when George is unhappy so is Max, when one wants to be jittery then the other is too. They are just so alike and more importantly love the same jokes.
But starting school is an anxious time for them both, so George goes with Max to the shop where he is to buy his uniform and supplies.
Once at school, Max feels very alone until at recess time he spies George waiting for him at the door. He tells Max a joke, and Max laughs, attracting the attention of another boy in the playground. Eventually these two share jokes and leave George behind.
A charming story of starting things anew, of finding friends, of losing your imaginary friend, the illustrations by de Gennaro compliment the understated story. The pastel colours filling in the pencil drawings, are gentle and unassuming, working well with the story rather than dominating it. The figures of the children are especially charming and the inclusion of numbers on the pages gives an intriguing level of interest to the reader.
Sue deGennaro also wrote and illustrated the lovely tale of friendship, which includes a preponderance of numbers, The pros and cons of being a frog (Scholastic, 2012.
Fran Knight