Maxine and her friend Leo are makers. Maxine’s style is function. Leo’s style is artistic. Together, they’re determined to make one spectacular garden.
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There is so much to love about this book, it is hard to know where to start. We start out learning about Maxine and her pet fish, Milton. Maxine and Milton like to do everything together. Maxine likes making things, especially things for her fish, Milton.
“If I can dream it, I can build it!” Maxine tells herself.
Next, we meet Maxine’s friend, Leo, who is also a maker, but he is more artistic. He likes to sew and make things look nice. Together they plan to make the Greatest Garden Ever.
Maxine and Leo each lean on their own strengths to design and plan their garden. Eventually, with hard work and patience, the garden begins to grow. Unfortunately, the local animals also love their garden and use it as a salad bar.
Together, through trial and error, Maxine and Leo come up with a solution. But not before getting into a fight, and then finding a way to repair their friendship.
Things I love about Maxine and the Greatest Garden Ever!
- Includes diversity. Maxine is caucasian, Leo is a person of color.
- Show atypical interests. Maxine loves the technical side of things. She enjoys coding and her project focus on functionality. Leo enjoys making things look nice and enjoys sewing and benign artistic.
- Teaches persistence. When Maxine and Leo run into troubles in their garden they come up with a solution. That doesn’t work. So then they try again. And again. I am for any book that shows kids we sometimes need to fail on our way to success. In my opinion, this is one of the most important life lessons kids can learn.
- It teaches compromise and teamwork. Maxine and Leo have very different styles when approaching problems. They use their strengths to work together as a team to reach their goals.
This book teaches the power of apologizing and making things right.
Maxine and Leo eventually get in a fight when their project doesn’t work the way they had hoped. They both go their separate ways…but then come together and apologize, both admitting they were wrong.
I love the illustrations in this book!
So much to look at on each page. I love seeing the difference between Maxine and Leo’s creations.
Maxine and the Greatest Garden Ever! should be on the shelf of every 4-8 year old.
For more great books with diversity check out 21 Books About Diversity Every Kid Should Read