Reviews for Max explains everything : soccer expert

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Max is happy to share his expertise about the most popular sport on the planet: soccer. He claims to know a lotbut does he really?Max has been playing soccer for three weeks now; he is a self-proclaimed expert, eager to share his knowledge. Max sure seems to know a lot about the game: the right equipment to use, the warm-up routines, the huddles with the coach and teammates, the referees.Yet he also has a propensity to be sidetracked by everything else happening on and around the pitch: the dandelions and four-leaf clovers growing on the field, the ladybugs and worms wandering in the grass, the fans taking pictures; even the clouds in the sky distract him from the most important part of the game for a soccer player: kicking the ball and scoring goals. His teammates are desperate for him to join in the action: "Kick the ball, Max"; "Max, the ball"; "THE BALL, MAX!" Will all the encouragements work? For Max however, it doesn't really matter: Soccer is all about having fun and meeting new friends. In this second in the Max Explains Everything series, McAnulty reteams with Hocking, together creating a congenial character whose inattention is largely redeemed by the palpable enthusiasm and passion he shows for soccer and the smile he sports throughout the game. Lively illustrations on two-page spreads do justice to a simple, funny, and exciting story, depicting the reality that Max's narration elides. Max's team has players who present both male and female; curly-haired, light-brown-skinned Max, though gendered male on the jacket flap, narrates the text without pronouns, allowing multiple interpretations.McAnulty and Hocking score again. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Publishers Weekly
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In his second story (following Max Explains Everything: Grocery Store Expert), Max-a boy with hair like brown yarn-thinks he's a soccer aficionado. Readers will observe that Max actually prefers finding insects and four-leaf clovers in the field over playing the game. But Max's disinterest is no big deal; at the sidelines, the kind, gray-haired coach offers him an orange wedge and the "thousands of fans" (really only a handful) watch from the sidelines. A moment arrives for Max to show he's got skills after all-but, refreshingly, he's more interested in the promise of after-game snacks than in making the goal. Max is a relatable hero for readers who like being on the field but whose minds might not be entirely in the game. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal
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PreS-Gr 2-The "do as I say, not as I do" guidance of Max returns in this continuation of the series. Breaking the fourth wall, the titular character gives listeners the lowdown on soccer. He is, after all, an expert-he's been playing for almost three weeks! It won't take kids long to realize that Max isn't heeding his own advice. While the rest of his team prepares for the game, Max does somersaults, admires a butterfly, and empties his pockets of seashells, crayons, and other ephemera. Frequent recommendations to just "Kick the ball, Max" are roundly ignored. After all, someone has to pull up dandelions and four-leaf clovers so they don't distract the players, and that someone might as well be Max. While Max poses for pictures, watches clouds, and enjoys some well-deserved bench time, the rest of his team is playing hard. Tension mounts as everyone-perhaps listeners included-encourages Max to kick the ball, resulting in a twist ending that is absolutely Max's modus operandi. The playful, whimsical artwork perfectly complements the book's sweetly irreverent tone, while the mix of full-spread and framed panels gives this a charming comic-book flair. VERDICT Sports fans and lovers of a good silly picture book will have much to cheer for here. An endearing addition to most collections.-Abby Bussen, Muskego Public Library, WI Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.