Max the Brave by Ed Vere, published by Puffin
"Max does not like being dressed up in ribbons. Because Max is a fearless kitten"
As a dad called Max, I am frequently referred to by our two and a half year old daughter as Daddy Max. Maybe there is nothing especially odd about that, except that this only started after we first read the fantastic 'Max the Brave' by Ed Vere. I don't know if that means that in her eyes I'm a fearless and brave monster-catcher, or whether I'm actually seen as like a compliant kitten who she feels should be made to wear ribbons.
We'd previously read Ed Vere's 'Mr Big', a wonderful book about a lonely Gorilla, who finds his calling in the smokey underground jazz clubs of what I imagine it was like in the basements of circa 1950s off-Broadway.
Physically, Max is a far smaller protagonist, but one with just as much personality - a nimble, keen and daring kitten, trying to find his place in his relatively new world. After shedding a pink ribbon in favour of a cape, and setting out on the search for mice, helpful (and not so helpful) directions lead him to the gaping mouth of a snoring monster.
This is a book that makes extraordinary use of the space on a page - including a wonderful scene with a tiny rabbit guiding Max towards the mouse with a hasty "Thataway".
This has become one of our daughter's favourite books, beautifully poised and full of adventure.
With many thanks to Ed Vere for permission to use the cover image alongside this review.
@ed_vere said: "Hey - thanks for the lovely review!"