Bound To Stay Bound

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 Max and Marla
 Author: Boiger, Alexandra

 Publisher:  Putnam
 Pub Year: 2015

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [31] p., col. ill., 26 cm.

 BTSB No: 130416 ISBN: 9780399175046
 Ages: 3-5 Grades: K

 Best friends -- Fiction
 Owls -- Fiction
 Olympics -- Fiction

Price: $6.50

Max and his pet owl Marla are best friends, teammates, and aspiring Olympians who are ready for victory!

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: LG
   Reading Level: 1.90
   Points: .5   Quiz: 194335

   Kirkus Reviews (07/15/15)
   School Library Journal (10/01/15)
   Booklist (09/01/15)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/11/15)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 09/01/2015 Max and Marla are best friends and, as the narrator believes, “true Olympians.” Marla also happens to be a small snow owl. The story opens with the young boy and owl lying atop a sled, watching a televised luge race in the Winter Olympics. Inspired and ready to prove that they are Olympic material, too, they bundle up, do some stretches (“Preparation is key”), and march outside. At the top of a massive snow-covered hill, Max and Marla climb onto the sled and . . . sit. A quick equipment check shows the sled needs a tune-up, so back inside they go. Over the next three days, the duo faces different obstacles, all the while adding improvements to their getting-ready routine, until finally conditions are perfect and their hard work pays off. Boiger’s watercolor-and-ink illustrations carry a sweetness of expression and make use of an icy palette of white and blues, with occasional pops of color. Many little lessons are imparted in Boiger’s debut, but its mantra remains, “True Olympians never give up.” - Copyright 2015 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 10/01/2015 K-Gr 2—Max and his best friend, Marla the owl, are real winter Olympians. "Honest to goodness. Cross your heart." At least, that is, in spirit. They understand the importance of preparing. They put on their snow caps and scarves, warm up a bit, take the sled, and head to the snowy outdoors. Up they climb to the top of the hill, "ready, set, GO!" Not quite. There are technical difficulties with the sled, but "true Olympians never give up," so back inside Max waxes the blades with assistance of sorts from Marla, who naps on the couch. The next day they add "a number of improvements," including goggles, matching red helmets, and a fancy belt, to their athletic wardrobe. Out they fearlessly go again, but the wind and snow send them flying, quite literally. It's time to take a rest for a day, because that is very important preparation for sports as well. Fully recovered, Max and Marla prepare with some more exercises and bundle up in too-big ski jackets. This time they tie themselves to the sled so they won't fall off, but they end up tumbling down the mountain and turning into giant snowballs. Real Olympians turn defeat into victory, so the two have fun making snow angels and later reward themselves with hot chocolate and doughnuts turned Olympic medals. The charming illustrations, presented in shades of winter blue, were created with watercolor and ink and enhanced with Photoshop. Pudgy Marla is an excellent sidekick for Max, a cute kid with a too-large head. VERDICT A humorous addition to winter tales and a good story about persistence in pursuing goals.—Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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