Maxwell the Raindrop: AM I STILL ME?
Author: Joseph Moore
Illustrated by: Jaclyn Donnelly
From the moment you are born you will experience many changes within the world and yourself. As an infant you appear to look small, tiny and even fragile but as a young child you stand upright, talk and move around. But, looking in the mirror you might ask yourself: AM I STILL ME? Looking in the mirror from your teens to adulthood and then older you might wonder how you changed on the outside but what about the inside? Are you still the same person?
Maxwell the Raindrop will help all of us understand this when you meet this precious raindrop as he falls from a large silver cloud and lands on a thirsty flower. The pictures are colorful and the expressions on each character tell the story for children who are non-readers. The next morning Maxwell felt the sunlight and he could feel the warmth pulling back into the air? How could this happen? Poor Maxwell became concerned and the strange feeling he had was one he never experienced before, and he rose quickly but how did it happen? He wondered what was happening to him? Well, the answer is simple yet not straightforward as he listened to the other raindrops that he was now changing into water vapor. It’s like falling up! But although each one had a pretend destination Maxwell wondered how a raindrop could land on the moon and the next thing, he knew he landed inside the cloud. Just look at picture of all the raindrops that were now water vapor and the expression on his face telling readers that he understood what the cloud explained that he was now water vapor but: Was Maxwell still Maxwell? Poor Maxwell was totally confused as any child might be who had these changes happen to him/her and not fully expect them to happen. So, maybe parents of young raindrops or children need to explain early on that they will change into many shapes and forms: tall, short, thin, heavy or even round and yet you are still you!
Just look at Maxwell’s sad face to understand his confusion and fear. But, the most exciting thing to the other raindrops was when the ground turned white and you won’t believe what they turned into can you guess? Why were they so excited? Guess what they saw SNOW! Would you like to turn into a snowflake? When you read how this happened you will understand how he felt wondering what was happening to him now. Check out the pictures that are so realistic and illustrated and you can tell how each raindrop looked, what shape they turned into because each snowflake is unique and different? What do you think they made? Well, I will let you solve that mystery yourself! Would Maxwell understand he was now a snowflake? What if he doesn’t want to make this change? Is Maxwell still Maxwell? You can change but believe it or not the point being made in this fantastic story is that you might change into water vapor, a snowflake or even a large snowbank but you are still you dear Maxwell.
Every season brings new changes and things do not remain the same as he will learn. The sun came back bright, and the snow bank turned into a puddle when the snow melted, and you must see what happened to our Maxwell. Spring arrived, and the wildflowers grew around this great puddle check out the pictures and meet Ella Isabella the dandelion who is beautiful with her yellow face. But seasons bring changes even to wildflowers and when Ella realizes that she changed she too gets confused and wonder why her appearance changes and asks that same question that Maxwell asked: AM I STILL ME? If you want to know what Maxwell explained to her you must find out for yourself. The author, Joseph Moore even have some great discussion questions at the end of the book and you should read the first one: Maxwell: The Raindrop Who Wouldn’t Fall. Illustrated by Jaclyn Donnelly this story about our special raindrop really comes to life in living color. Understand young children, teens, young adults and even adults nothing stays the same on the outside, but it’s still you on the inside and even though you look different to the world: YOU JUST MIGHT STILL BE YOU! This is a great book to teach differences in people, how to deal with change and guess what you just might fall in love with our special Raindrop too.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine/MJ Network
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