Art & Max

Art & Max

Book - 2010
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Max and Arthur are friends who share an interest in painting. Arthur is an accomplished painter; Max is a beginner. Max’s first attempt at using a paintbrush sends the two friends on a whirlwind trip through various artistic media, which turn out to have unexpected pitfalls. Although Max is inexperienced, he’s courageous—and a quick learner. His energy and enthusiasm bring the adventure to its triumphant conclusion. Beginners everywhere will take heart.

Baker & Taylor
Max wants to be an artist like Arthur, but his first attempt at using a paintbrush sends the two friends on a whirlwind trip through various media, with unexpected consequences.

& Taylor

Draws on diverse influences from George Herriman’s Krazy Kat and the work of Salvador Dali to present a tale that follows themes of friendship and creativity, as a pair of lizards with different levels of painting expertise share an exciting journey through various artistic media. By the Caldecott Medal-winning author of Tuesday. 150,000 first printing.

Publisher: Boston : Clarion Books, 2010
ISBN: 9780618756636
Branch Call Number: E WIESN
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 cm x 29 cm
Alternative Title: Art and Max


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Feb 23, 2017

Really, really weird book! I can't imagine actually using this with young children--you'd have to explain everything.

Oct 09, 2016

It is a very cute, but weird book too. It only made sense to me after reading it couple of times, but then I modified the story a bit and included a bit more details when I read it to my children. After that it became our favourite. My 5 yo loved it as much as my 2.5 yo did. They love the "ripping up" stage of Arthur and reconstruction, I personally love the side story told by lizards(?) in the background. The story itself should be read slowly, by looking at the pictures for additional clues, otherwise text does not say much, really. This is the one where you carefully examine all the details even before you start reading. My 5yo was very proud to find the real beginning of the story just behind the front cover! You'll enjoy this book too, if you don't rush through it! ;)

vpl_childrens Dec 08, 2015

Max wants to be an artist like Arthur, but his first attempt at using a paintbrush sends the two friends on a whirlwind trip through various media, with unexpected consequences.

Aug 11, 2015

like all of Wiesner's books this one is great fun (and unusually has words too)

FindingJane Dec 14, 2014

Artistic differences of opinion can occasion utterly new creations—or utter disasters. The exploration of what makes art brings two very dissimilar personalities into conflict, with hilarious and then near fatal results. It’s a gentle poke at folks who take art too seriously and those who don’t.

“Art & Max” shows children that artistic license, i.e., coloring outside the lines, needn’t be frowned upon yet it also cautions against simply letting your ideas run away from you (mess isn’t art, kids, when all it means is you didn’t clean your room). Each page brims with Mr. Wiesner’s exquisite use of color and expression. It contains more words than other books of his (including “Mr. Wuffles”) but it’s undeniably a Wiesner creation, with the eccentric and the mundane effortlessly posed in juxtaposition to each other, as only a true artist can manage.

Jul 23, 2014

Beautiful artwork as always from Wiesner, but the story is extremely confusing, I had to read and reread the first couple of pages to figure out who was saying what. The style of the story telling leaves much to be desired. Not so sure I like the story either. The little lizard completely messes up the big lizard by painting him, but in the end the big lizard is okay with it. No consequences for the little guy. The concepts here are pretty mature too. I don't know that young children would get it.
Would I recommend this book? NO. Beautiful artwork, but not enough incentive to buy the book.

Aug 13, 2013

Beautiful pictures. Interesting story told mostly by pictures.


Wiesner’s a wild card. You never quite know what he has up his sleeve. All a person can know is that it’s going to be wonderful. He may not be consistent in terms of his content, but when it comes to quality David Wiesner is ever and always predictably magnificent. Art & Max is no exception.

Jan 14, 2012

The newest favorite in my classroom: Staid artist Arthur (not Art, please) has a run-in with exuberant, literal, novice-artist Max, and his art will never be the same. Great illustrations. Be sure to have some art supplies at hand, because most kids want to jump right into making some art after reading Art & Max.

Jul 22, 2011

I loved this story about creativity and not being hedged in. My 4 year old son had me read it to him over and over again.


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ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 4 and 8


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Art, a horned lizard with an artist’s temperament, is doing a bit of portraiture in his desert environment when along bounces happy-go-lucky Max. Max wants to paint just like Art, and the grumpy elder agrees grudgingly, informing the little guy, “Just don’t get in the way.” When Max asks what he should paint, Art suggests himself. Unfortunately for him, Max takes this advice a little too literally and Max finds himself covered in oils, turned into pastels, and eventually nothing more than a mere outline of his former self. By the end, however, he has come around to Max’s exuberance and the two decide to paint. Max makes a portrait. Art throws paints at a cactus.


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“Just don’t get in the way.”


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