Max's Wacky Taxi Day

Max Grover, Author Harcourt Children's Books $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-15-200989-2
Electric colors energize this chuckler about cab driver Max, who works in a city where a ""fork in the road"" is a giant piece of tableware and ""baseball diamonds"" are sold at the jewelry store. His passengers take the puns in stride, even though a ""spring shower"" rains metal coils and a ""park bench"" is a sidewalk seat featuring a fountain and tiny trees. At the end of the day, Max goes home to ""fix dinner""--using a hammer and nails, of course. Filler text appears in black ink, capital letters in red ink signal key words--watch for these verbal cues, then look to the illustration for the payoff. Grover (Circles and Squares Everywhere!) shocks the eye by placing outlandish complementary hues edge-to-edge in wild patterns of opaque paint. Most of the jokes are understandable, but the pictures help to remind readers of homonyms' multiple meanings. A few fall short, like when going ""bowling"" means arranging bowls on a streetside table, and young ones may be thrown by the intentional misspellings (e.g., Max drives a pilot to an airplane ""hanger,"" and takes a child to where the ""tooth ferry"" docks). Nevertheless, an experienced audience will breeze through the intense visuals and humorous wordplay. Ages 7-up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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