David Shannon, 1959-

Book - 2022

Instead of making friends, seven-year-old Max Midas decides to make millions and spend it on what he loves best, gold, but one day things get lonely inside his shiny castle and Max finally learns that gold is not worth anything without friends and family by your side. The author and illustrator of No, David!, is back with a rioutous retelling of the Midas myth that's sure to delight young readers and be read aloud again and again.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Shannon Due Jun 9, 2024
Children's Room jE/Shannon Checked In
Stories in rhyme
Children's stories Pictorial works
Picture books
New York : Viking [2022]
Main Author
David Shannon, 1959- (author)
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Ages 4-7.
Grades PreS-2.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Shannon brings his offbeat humor to this modern retelling of the King Midas myth. Max, decked out in a golden crown and matching tie tack, heart-shaped sunglasses, and pink bunny slippers, stands atop a golden planet, reveling in his love of all things gold. Eschewing chocolate, toys, and childish pursuits, Max seeks only more gold--gold stars (he cheats on tests), money, and profit by any means. He sells lemonade by the sip and sabotages all competitors who challenge his global lemonade company. He makes enough to buy his parents a house (but he charges them rent). After building himself a golden castle atop a golden mountain of coins, Max begins to isolate: "As time went by, Max stayed inside / and all alone got older. / His outlook didn't change a bit. / In fact, / it just got golder." Max's comeuppance comes when his greed turns him into a solid gold statue. Only one small tear saves him from despair. The moral? "Gold can never make you feel . . . as good as being nice." This is told in clever rhyming text and illustrated in vibrant oil paint (with lots of gold hues!), and Shannon's quirky cartoon characters lend humor and affection to one aspect of childhood and family.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Maximilian Midas is a gold-obsessed, repp-tie-wearing redhead who presents as white; with a "touch/ For raking in the dough," he pooh-poohs parental love and sells sips of lemonade at market price on the hottest days. When "plucky neighbor girl" Sadie, portrayed as Black, opens a lemonade stand "to help some needy kids," Max sabotages her product, building a lemonade empire to acquire the literal mountain of gold he's coveted from an early age. Unrepentantly isolated, mogul Max eats a heap of gold dust with his breakfast cereal and immediately turns into a solid gold statue. In nightmarish images (including a Twilight Zone--worthy extreme close-up), golden Max proves capable of a lone redemptive tear, and finishes the story as not only a loving offspring but apparently a conscious capitalist as well, enlisting Sadie to "help me/ use my millions/ To make a better world." Shannon (Mr. Nogginbody Gets a Hammer) gets mixed results in casting the Midas myth as a critique of cold-blooded capitalism: if his exaggerated, even grotesque, art style fits the theme of excess, Sadie's role in Max's salvation feels misguided at best, and a closing line about making "millions more" does little to dismantle the capitalist myth. Ages 3--7. (Sept.)

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A kid's take on an ancient tale. Maximilian Midas is the ultimate capitalist. Displaying an infantile obsession with his mother's gold necklace, by the age of 7 he's built a fortune, starting with a lemonade stand, then selling the beverage "in stores throughout the land." Told in an inconsistently metered ABCB rhyme scheme, the story follows the light-skinned boy's fantastical rise in fortune and continued exploitation of others: sabotaging his competition's lemonade stand with a dead mouse, charging his parents rent, and finally retreating to a castle overflowing with gold at the top of a mountain, alone with his fortune. When Max gets the bright idea to sprinkle gold dust on his cereal, he, like his namesake, turns into a golden statue, immobile except for "a little tear that Max had saved / Since he was one year old." He's magically transformed back into flesh and blood, his gold disappearing into the ether. Max decides to become a more humanitarian capitalist, musing that "Gold can never make you feel / as good as being nice." Shannon's oil paintings are detailed and bold, adding a layer of grotesquerie to the already vulgar story. Blending overt moralizing with fantastical elements somewhat muddles the message here, especially since children are less prone to wealth hoarding than adults, and at the end of the book, "mak[ing] millions" is still presented as the solution to problems. (This book was reviewed digitally.) Ostentation without substance. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.