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“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” More
Summary: One morning, while out in the barnyard, Max (a dog) heard Beryl (a hen) making lots of noise. When she left the hen house, he ran up to see what was going on. Beryl had laid an egg. Try as he might, he couldn’t keep away, and gulp! he ate the egg. This went on for days. Then one night, the doglins arrived to take over. Not only were the going to take Max’s things, they were going to start stealing Beryl’s eggs. With that, Max realized his mistake and decided to do something about it. He ousted the doglins and asked Beryl for forgiveness. This is a picture book about recognizing right from wrong, accepting the consequences, and doing the right thing.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, easy reader, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 9
Reading Level: 1.7
Age of Child: Started reading with 7-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter loved this story. We had to read it two times “right away” the first night, and it’s been two readings per night for several days now. With the first reading she was quick to point out the “bullies,” but did not quite understand how the doglins were Max’s conscience.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a well-crafted story. The story’s lesson is an important one, and the way the author brought Max’s thinking back around is very clever. It isn’t until he decides to protect Beryl that he sees just how wrong he was. The illustrations are wonderful, and Max’s face is very expressive.
Pros: Kids of all ages will enjoy this story about making good decisions. Kids will be sad for Beryl, and chastise then cheer for Max.
Cons: None, really. When Max seeks forgiveness, you don’t hear his apology or his motivation, only Beryl accepting the apology. The author wrote this very effectively without bogging down the story, but it would be nice to know what prompted Max to keep stealing eggs.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This could go either way. It is an excellent story that you arel likely read many times. The value of the lesson will change as your child grows.
Educational Themes: Max and the Doglins offers a wonderful life lesson about temptation, choices, consequences, and forgiveness. The author has visually demonstrated how poor choices can haunt you, and this may be a topic to explore. Because the author is not specific about why Max took the eggs day after day, you might ask your kids what they think the motivation was. Would they have forgiven Max as quickly?
Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 1.7
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, life lessons