Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Review: The Sunny Adventure

From the Publisher: Mother Fox asked her little daughter to go hunting and get some food for the very first time in her life. The little fox decided to catch the Sun since it looked very appetizing. Going in search of it, the girl had no idea she would meet a little toad Loudcroak who would become her faithful friend. 
This charming adventure story is filled with kindness, courage, and faith, teaching children how true friendship overcomes any obstacles. 
I would add that the artwork is attractive and helps to move the story along for young readers.
Find additional details on Amazon at: 

Monday, December 30, 2019

REVIEW "With All My Heart"

From the Publisher

This illustrated picture book with die-cut pages is the perfect read to share with your little one! 

Share the love between a parent and child in With All My Heart. This beautifully illustrated picture book showcases the lifelong love a parent has for their child. Each page features sweet text paired with shaped die cuts for a unique reading experience. With All My Heart is the perfect book to cuddle up with and to express the endless love between a parent and child. 

The timing of this book's arrival couldn't have been better. That's because it was delivered a few days before Christmas and all 5 of our granddaughters were here with us. Their mothers took the book and read it to their daughters. It's safe to say it was a big hit for mothers and daughters.

The artwork is beautiful, the words are kept to a minimum, and the kids enjoyed the cutout surprises on several of the pages.

Find it at:

Reviewed by Max Elliot Anderson

Monday, December 23, 2019

I grew up hating to how did I become an author for middle grade readers?

I grew up hating to how did I become an author for middle grade readers? Sometimes I ask myself the same question.

Still, it’s true. I didn’t like to read as a child. This was ironic because my father was an author who published 77 books during his life. Many of them were for kids, but I couldn’t have been less interested. Several years ago, I decided to look into why I didn’t enjoy reading. That research resulted in my decision to begin writing the kinds of books I would have enjoyed as a child. 

A recent issue of Newsweek carried a cover story warning, “The Boy Crisis. At Every Level of Education, They're Falling Behind. What to Do?” Since reluctant reading is primarily a problem for boys, I’ve found my books are filling an important need. 

My professional background has always involved the production of films, television commercials, and video programs. I’m a visual learner. So I began to incorporate some of those visual concepts into my writing. For example, readers won’t find these books to be heavy on descriptions. Boys especially want a story that moves rapidly. I chose to write many of the stories with completely different characters, setting, and plot. My work also includes two series. But as a child, I had a hard time accepting the concept of a group of friends, or cousins, or a brother and sister who would get up, every Saturday morning, go out into the back yard, and save the world…again. For that reason, each story in those series can stand alone.

Letters and emails from readers and their parents indicate that these new books are hitting their mark. Yet, not only are they enjoyed by reluctant boy readers, but avid boy readers, girls, and even adults get swept away in the stories, action, and adventure. 

Here is just a sampling of the comments that I regularly receive about these unique books.   

A mother writes, “I can't believe it the concerned mother of two struggling readers...who is also the daughter of a children's librarian ... I think I have purchased every book recommended for reluctant readers  however, they have all fallen short until today. We were able to purchase our first Max Elliot Anderson book...and we're hooked!!!"

A teacher reported, "This year, we started with one of your books. The students are already finished with it. Our school only planned on using three of your books for the whole year. Now we’ll have to buy more titles.”

Another mother said, "At last we've found something that will interest him in reading."  

A school administrator wrote, “It is a joy to see our students, especially boys, asking for more! I can recommend every book without hesitation. While reading the first one, I had trouble putting it down. Max Elliot Anderson, the author of these books, has a unique ability to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. As a grandparent I am encouraged that the books creatively and appropriately weave Christian character traits and biblical principles through the life of the main character and his friends. Parents, you will find this true of every book.”

It is often said in business, find a need and fill it. We have a need to capture the interest and imagination of the next generation, or risk losing our readers. Today, kids have so many other, more visual distractions with personal electronic devices, television, computers, video games, and DVDs. It takes a different kind of book to hold their interest. These books will hold their interest.

My books are compared by readers and reviewers to a modern day Tom Sawyer, The Hardy Boys, Huck Finn, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, Scooby-Doo and adventure author Jack London. 

Children write to me after reading one of my books. They have said that reading one of these middle grade mysteries or adventures is like being in an exciting or scary movie…good scary and not dark.


Monday, December 9, 2019

REVIEW - The Big Book of Bling

From the publisher:
Feast your eyes on the most briliant bling from around the world in this opulent opus, celebrating iridescent animals, things that glitter and glow, a wealth of shiny wonders, and more lavish luxuries from our planet.

Did you know that with its 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and 5 rubies the British imperial state crown weighs more than a guinea pig? Or if you have $3.5 million to spare you can buy a solid gold toilet? Or that there's a cave in Mexico containing giant crystals that are as long as a school bus?

From upscale splurges to flashy fun in nature, this treasure trove is filled with wonders that will dazzle and delight. Read about how nature struts its stuff with tantalizing tidbits about animals, including a few that literally glitter with iridesence to confuse predators. Or maybe you'll strike it rich after reading about Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, U.S.A., where anyone can go hunt for sparkling gems. Dig into info about the world's mysterious minerals, gorgeous geodes, and ritzy rocks. Discover extravagant expenditures like Canada's million-dollar solid gold coin. Learn all about the splendid science of diamonds that rain from the sky in space. Get the secret behind glowing bioluminescence. And go back in time to uncover palatial palaces, the riches of royalty, and other ancient treasures. 

To show off the lush content in proper fashion, readers will be dazzled by hundreds of fun flashy photos throughout.

     * There is so much to enjoy within the pages of this book that it's difficult, if not impossible, to capture it in a review. All I can add to the above information, after going through the book myself, is you have to experience it in order to get the full impact. Generously illustrated and photographed, readers are simply encouraged to dive in and enjoy the ride. 

Max Elliot Anderson - author of exciting adventures and mysteries for readers 8 - 13.

REVIEW - Forgotten Beasts

From the publisher:
A witty, colorful celebration of the amazing lost creatures of this planet; with a strong message of protection and conservation.

Matt Sewell's follow-up to The Colorful World of Dinosaurs is a beautifully-illustrated large format look at the amazing beasts that time forgot--from the relatively well known, such as the sabre-toothed tiger and woolly mammoth, to the obscure monsters that walked the earth millions of years ago--many now forgotten. 

Although less celebrated than the dinosaurs, the range of beasts is equally impressive, every one an amazing or scary creature that actually stalked the planet. Like the dinosaurs, these beasts are awe-inspiring in their variety, in a wide range of furs, feathers and colours, making for a stunning collection of vivid watercolor illustrations.

These beasts are arranged chronologically--from the strange invertebrate Opabinia that lived over 500 million years ago, to the Thylacine, or Tasmanian Tiger, that became extinct in 1936.

     * It's easy to think that, except maybe for the dinosaurs, the animals around us are the only others to roam the earth. But Forgotten Beast reminds us of many others that have become extinct. Although many are from the dinosaur era, there are many, many more that have disappeared from the landscape. Thumbing through the pages of this interesting book the reader will find over forty creatures profiled that no longer exist. Colorful artwork renderings of each one increases the interest in finding out more about them.
Max Elliot Anderson - author of exciting adventures and mysteries for readers 8 - 13.

REVIEW - Treasury Of Bible Stories

From the publisher:

The timeless tales from the early books of the Bible have captivated generations. In this lush storybook, the fresh voice of lyrical storyteller Donna Jo Napoli and the lavish artwork of Christina Balit bring classic stories to life for a young, modern audience.

Noah's Ark, Moses, David and Goliath, the ten plagues, Daniel and the lions' den, Jonah and the giant fish, and many more of the Bible's most powerful stories--27 in all--are compellingly retold in this beautifully illustrated treasury. Readers will be fascinated by the ancient people and events they encounter, surprised by some of the lesser known accounts revealed, and inspired by the lessons these tales impart. Stories cover important ground beyond religion, such as culture, history, and geography, and they touch on issues that remain relevant today--faith, loyalty, kindness, violence, generosity, greed, jealousy, and more. These accessible, readible stories give kids a rich picture of biblical times, which encourages them to think about our role in the world and to learn more. 

Napoli's magicial storytelling is sure to ignite children's imaginations. Along with Balit's stunning art, this is a book kids will want to explore again and again--a classic that families can read aloud together.

     * Many of the important Bible stories are contained in this book including creation, the flood, Jonah, and others. The retelling of these stories might make this a good companion to other Bible story books you already have. The modern artwork treatment adds to the uniqueness of the book which also includes interesting facts at the end of the book.
Max Elliot Anderson - author of exciting adventures and mysteries for readers 8 - 13.

REVIEW - The Adventures of Mose & Mr. Brown

From the publisher:

This is the renowned international fashion superstar Sir Paul Smith's very first children's picture book - and the first book in a new and exciting series. Written by Sir Paul and illustrated by the brilliant Sam Usher it is a stunning, beautiful, laugh-out-loud story of animals, travel, design and finding inspiration in the most unlikely of places.

Inspired by toys that Paul has owned for many years, the main characters are Moose, a moose, and Mr Brown, a monkey who lives in Sir Paul's office in London. Mr Brown is an international fashion designer, who meets Moose on a plane travelling to London. Moose is distraught as he has lost his twin brother Monty -who got on the wrong plane! Mr Brown agrees to help Moose track Monty down, and in return, Moose helps bring even more inspiration to Mr Brown's business.

They travel around the world, helping other animals with their designs (slippers for sloths, parkas for penguins, scarves for giraffes, and more) and looking for Monty. Will Mr Brown and Moose find Monty before Mr Brown's big catwalk show?

     * The first time I read this book to our four-year-ole, she immediately asked me to read it again. She loved the artwork and wanted to find out what happened to to Mooses' twin brother Monty. This book is sure to entertain for years to come.
Max Elliot Anderson - author of exciting adventures and mysteries for readers 8 - 13.