cover image Max Found Two Sticks

Max Found Two Sticks

Brian Pinkney, J. Brian Pinkney, Pinkney. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $17 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-671-78776-9

Max doesn't much feel like talking, so he lets his drumsticks (two twigs, actually) respond to questions and imitate the sounds of his city neighborhood--pigeons startled into flight, rain tapping against a window, a train thundering down the elevated track. By linking Max's ``drums'' to activities from each previous page (for example, his grandfather is seen washing windows on one page, and in the next, Max is drumming on the cleaning bucket), Pinkney unobtrusively tugs the story forward. The fluid lines of his distinctive scratchboard illustrations fairly swirl with energy, visually translating Max's joy in creating rhythm and sound (Pinkney is well suited to the task, having been a drummer since the age of eight). A serendipitous ending finds the drummer from a passing marching band tossing a spare set of real drumsticks to the delighted Max. Ages 4-8. Children's BOMC alternate. (Feb.)