Max Goes to Town
Cynthia L. Clark
Outskirts Press (2021)
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Reader Views (08/2022)
“Max Goes to Town,” by Cynthia L. Clark, illustrated by Blueberry Illustrations, is a fun children’s book about a cat named Max who ventures into town. Full of energy and heart, this rhyming story reflects the personality of Max, a cat who loves where he lives and the life he leads, pestering a mouse and playing with the children that live with him.
One day the family drives to town in their truck, ordering something to eat and drink from a cafe. After their family night out, they settle on heading home to watch a movie, but discover that Max is waiting for them on the hood of their truck, which surprises the family a little, but isn’t much of a big deal to Max, who has waited patiently for them to return. They determine that Max must have jumped into the truck and rode all the way into town with them, unbeknownst to them.
Clark weaves an irresistible tale that is cute and curious: How and why did the family cat follow them to town in their truck? The girls rode with Max in the back seat of the truck on the way home, scolding him for scaring them with his brave stunt, but Max gives the perfect, typical cat-reaction—turning his head away. When the next chance comes for the family to go to town, what will Max do?
The author seems to know the habit of cats quite well, and readers will feel the enjoyment she has for spinning this yarn that is based on a true story. Sweet, colorful illustrations help bring the precocious character of Max to life, and children will love following along with this simple yet fun adventure story. If you’ve ever had a daring cat like Max, or know of their connection to families, you’ll relate to this story and the girls who care about this cat but don’t quite know what to make of his spirited nature.
Cynthia L. Clark uses one of my favorite styles in children’s writing–rhyming. The combination of rhyming and a spunky cat gives a lilt and sense of play to the entire story. “Max Goes to Town: Based on a True Story,” would make the perfect gift for any young reader who loves cat stories.