Title: Max’s Box
Author: Brian Wray
Illustrator: Shiloh Penfield
Max’s parents give him a small magical box that can hold everything from his toys to his feelings. But putting negative feelings inside the box makes it grow. Soon Max’s box has become so big and heavy that he can’t play with his friends or do any of the things he used to enjoy. When a ladybird lands on the box, Max imagines it flying away like a balloon. This gives him an idea: can Max make his box of negative thoughts fly away too?
Brian has created a story full of relatable life experiences for children, and Shiloh’s illustrations have brought these to life.
At the start of the story Shiloh has kept colour within the illustrations to a minimum so that when we get to Max’s plan to use balloons to help him let go of his worries, the colour has a stunning impact (read it, you’ll see what I mean!).
My favourite spread was this one which brings together the story, colour and the message:
I loved Brian and Shiloh’s book Unraveling Rose, so I was very excited to read this and it didn’t disappoint. Max’s Box is another great example of how mental health can be explored within picture books. Max is a very relatable character and the ending of the story is very satisfying.
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
Publication date: 28 September 2019
I am very grateful to the publisher for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. This voluntary review contains my honest opinion.