Written by Brian Wray
Illustrated by Shiloh Penfield
Publishing September 2019 by Schiffer Publishing
Max's Box is a powerful, evocative book about children, especially boys and how they are inclined to deal with their emotions, or "supposed" to deal with them. Box them up, and carry them around. Carrying strong emotions around, like a box tied to your wrist, can cause damage. This is what is happening to Max.
In the beginning he was adding toys to his Box but then emotions were added and the box got bigger, harder to manage and Max lived in the shadows of it.
One simple question, asked by another child, gives Max the chance to answer honestly and the Box starts to change. Max can now see the Box differently and can change his attitude and behaviour.
This book should be read to every child in every home. Emotions come and go, they change us, they make us stronger, they need to be felt and then let go. Holding on is not healthy or helpful.
Max is taught this valuable lesson by drawing balloons all over the Box, which like emotions, can be let go into the sky to float and disappear.
What an amazing book- simple colours in the first pages make the last pages pop off the page. It really emphasises the message of letting emotions go once they are felt.
There is a valuable guide to emotions and encouraging children to feel, understand and accept them in the back of the book. It could be used in schools during assemblies, classrooms or just at home with the special children in your life.