Camping Chaos

Formac Lorimer. (The Secret Games of Maximus Todd). Aug. 2021. 96p. $16.99. ISBN 9781459505834.
Gr 1-3–Max is a cheerful kid with a pesky problem. “Now and again Max got so hyper, he could not keep still, could not think straight. And it usually, no, ALWAYS led to trouble.” From experience, Max knows that occupying his mind with games helps control his nervous energy. In School Trip Squirmies, he plays a game of searching for things of a certain color to keep fidgets at bay during a day of bullying, uncertainty, and embarrassment. In Camping Chaos, a bee sting, sudden rainstorm, and a know-it-all girl prompt a fidget attack; but the quick-thinking Max invents a new game—silently adding up every number he hears. His friend Shiv is always his ally, and both manage to find humor in Max’s predicaments. Accessible font is dyslexia-friendly and easy on the eyes. Text blocks are never daunting, broken up with ample illustrations and occasional sentences in a large, bold font, such as Max’s happy afterthought on camping: “Plus, we won’t have to shower for days!” The comical drawings are black and white, but it’s clear that Max has light hair and skin; his best friend Shiv has dark hair and skin. This is a Canadian series—expect Canadian spellings and metric amounts.
VERDICT A worthwhile purchase, particularly for the target audience—kids with hyperactivity. Hopefully, kids will read these books and see themselves positively presented or learn to view others that way.

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