Max by Marc Martin

cover image

Viking, 2014. ISBN 9780670077434.
(Age: 4+) Warmly recommended. Friendship, Change. Max the seagull, and Bob the fish and chip man are friends. Each day Max sits on a stool within the shop, welcoming customers, eating the occasional chip, and keeping Bob company. They have been friends for a while, and each night when the shop is closed, they go to the jetty to fish. Things are ideal, there are a few other shops along the jetty, a cake shop and bakery amongst others, with a fun fair and roller coaster behind. But one day Bob looks sad, and in the background, cranes can be seen on the sky line. Change is imminent. Over the page several of the shops are boarded up, and an advertisement for a new mall can be seen. Nothing will cheer Bob, and one day Max flies in to discover Bob has gone. He waits for a while, and then flies high in the sky, over the city, looking for his friend. He is attracted by a familiar smell, and diving low comes across a fish and chip shop just like the old one, with Bob serving customers.
They are together once again.
A charming story of friendship, of loss, of the pain of separation but the joy of coming together gain, all wrapped up in a tale of a seagull. But behind the tale is also the story of change, the changing landscape of the city looms early, but the friendship between Bob and Max remains firm. The fascinating illustrations reflect a variety of techniques, and show a city from a seagull's perspective. I love the Google map view of the city, the seagull trawling across the skyline looking for Bob, then zooming in for the closer shot of the shop then the man.
Fran Knight