Maxzyne Meets the Mannequins, by Caroline Lee | Dedicated Review
Review sponsored by Caroline Lee
The Children’s Book Review | April 25, 2017
Written by Caroline Lee
Illustrated by Jonathan Wolfe
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Paperback: 254 pages
Publisher: Pendant Press, LLC
What to expect: Mannequins, Kindness, Friendship, Family
Maxzyne Meets the Mannequins is a fiction novel that centers around Maxzyne, a 10-year-old girl living in high-rise in Chicago. The story begins when Maxzyne views a window display at a store and then encounters a woman who gives her a painting of a dog from that display. This chance meeting activates a series of events that leads Maxzyne on a quest to save a mannequin family.
Upon returning home from shopping, Maxzyne defies her mother by sneaking out of her apartment. Being an imaginative soul, Maxzyne struggles to understand what is real and not real, and how to keep her head out of the clouds long enough to help Elise, the young mannequin that has become her friend. Maxzyne, Elise and Peppin, Elise’s dog, embark upon a mission to convince the store employees that these particular mannequins are special, and that they should not be sold and dismantled.
Maxzyne endures multiple run-ins with store security and employees as she tries to prove the mannequins’ worth. Her efforts strengthen her friendship with Elise, who marvels at Maxzyne’s life and reflects on how different it is from her own:
“Elise wrinkles her brow, thinking. ‘I guess it’s exciting to go places, meet new people, and do different things every day. But I can only imagine as I watch from the window.’”
Maxzyne begins to appreciate her own life as she considers Elise’s perspective. In the end, Maxzyne learns that her generosity and kindness can be the key to saving her friends, and that ultimately life with her mom and dad is right where she belongs.
Set in Chicago, the book includes several nods to recognizable street names and local culture, creating a vivid and believable backdrop for the story. Throughout, Ms. Lee weaves messages of loyalty, self-awareness, and reflection on one’s own life, which gives the book an almost fable-like foundation, balancing the playfulness of the story itself.
For young fiction readers that have an interest in imaginative stories, this book will be the perfect fit. It provides a lovely story about friendship, determination, and taking responsibility for one’s actions at all costs.
About the Author
Caroline Lee couldn’t wait to leave her job writing classified security reports and manuals for the defense department to become a daydreamer-in-chief and architect of her own stories.
Often inspired by her surroundings, she looks for the extraordinary in the most familiar places. This curiosity tends to morph into other misadventures for her 10-year-old protagonist, Maxzyne.
Don’t tell anybody, but she’s also a teeny bit scared of riding the freight elevator in her 57-story building.
For more information, visit: www.maxzyne.com
About the Illustrator
Illustrator Jonathan Wolfe lives in Seattle, WA with his hedgehog Trevor, where he spends his days drawing and drinking too much coffee.
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. The author of “Maxzyne Meets the Mannequins,” Caroline Lee, paid for this non-biased review. Learn more about getting a book review …