The Children’s Book Review | February 15, 2014
Max & Voltaire: Getting to Know You
By Mina Mauerstein Bail; Illustrated by Gabriel Choquette
Age Range: 6 and up
Paperback: 66 pages
Publisher: Mouse Gate (November 4, 2014)
What to Expect: French Words, Tolerance, Diversity, and Friendship
Mina Mauerstein Bail has written a large-format chapter book series for young readers. The first installment in the series is a two-part story (each with six chapters) that encourages readers to get along with others.
In part one, readers are introduced to Max, a kitten that has been adopted by the Cupcake family. The Cupcake family has a dog at their home, so Max resides permanently in the family’s bakery. Although Max enjoys the company and snacking on croissants during the daytime, he becomes lonely during the evenings when the Cupcake family return home to their dog. Madame Cupcake finds him a new home with a lovely customer, Madame Rosemarie, who already has three cats. Each cat has their own personality and, through mutual respect, all of the cats learn to adapt to each other’s traits so that they can all get along. Something they all have in common, however, is a fear of dogs.
In part two, Madame Rosemarie adopts a dog that was in need of more attention than his family could offer. This dog is aptly named after a famous French writer, Voltaire, who wrote about tolerance and respect for others. Once again the cats must adjust to a newcomer and in doing so they learn that there is no need to be afraid of others simply because they are different.
Short sentences and color illustrations are used to facilitate comprehension of the easy to digest chapters. Children will enjoy reading the story and learning about the power of kindness and helping others. The fun names (Madame Cupcake), the snippets of humor that are interjected throughout, and the French backdrop and glossary of French words will further enhance the reading experience.
Max & Voltaire: Getting to Know You would make a nice read-aloud for a group setting and is also suited to individuals who are newly independent readers.
Add this book to your collection: Max & Voltaire: Getting to Know You, by Mina Mauerstein Bail; Illustrated by Gabriel Choquette
About the Author
Mina Mauerstein Bail, mother, grandmother and sociologist was born in Italy and grew up in the United States. She has traveled extensively, lived and worked in many countries around the world. She lives with her husband and her family in New York City. This is her first children’s book.
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