Thursday, November 22, 2018

Made by Maxine by Ruth Spiro
[Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway]

Hello! Welcome to the next stop on the Made by Maxine blog tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. I'm really happy to share my thoughts on this book with you!

Author: Ruth Spiro (Author), Holly Hatam (Illustrator)
Pub. Date: October 9, 2018
Publisher: Dial Books
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 37
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, iBooks, TBD

Meet Maxine, an inspiring young maker who knows that with enough effort and imagination (and mistakes), it's possible to invent anything.

Maxine loves making new things from old things. She loves tinkering until she has solved a problem. She also loves her pet goldfish, Milton. So when it's time for her school's pet parade, she's determined to create something that will allow Milton to march with the other animals. Finally, after trying, trying, and trying again, she discovers just the right combination of recycled odds and ends to create a fun, functional--and absolutely fabulous--solution to her predicament. 


I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product. 

My son loves to use household items to build things! We have a craft box that is full of odds and ends we've collected over time. There are a few toilet paper rolls, plastic silverware, buttons, leftover yarn, rubber bands, and even a seashell or two. When we decide to do something crafty, the kids have quite the selection to choose from, and we always have fun with it. I love watching them work and seeing what their young minds come up with!

Made by Maxine was the perfect book for us! Maxine uses her imagination to create a very extravagant tank for her goldfish, which resulted in my son wanting to build something similar for our cat. I told him the story was supposed to be fun and encouraging, but that most children Maxine's age don't have access to all of the items she was using for her inventions (or have parents that would allow their children to break stuff for their personal use).

I'm really glad her parents (seen randomly throughout the book) seemed to be supportive, but I wish Maxine had been a little more responsible and less destructive with her actions. When her ideas didn't work out, there were a lot of broken pieces to contend with. I would have also liked to see more descriptions surrounding her inventions, and what she used to make them work. My son was fascinated when she used vegetables to make music, but there was no explanation describing how it functioned. Maybe little information bubbles at the bottom, or a page at the back?

The illustrations were fun and really made the story pop! I enjoyed all of the little details that will probably go unnoticed by younger readers, like a paper that said, "Think like a proton. Always positive." There's one page in the book where Maxine is laying on the floor drawing her ideas, and there are dozens of pages with images on them. Clearly, Holly Hatam put a lot of thought into her work! I also liked seeing all of the inventions around the house that weren't mentioned in the story.

Overall, Made by Maxine was a really enjoyable story that encourages children to use their imaginations. "If I can dream it, I can make it!" I think I would have liked it more if the thought bubbles for the fish had been left out. They were distracting and didn't really contribute to the story. Other than that... a lovely book!

About Holly (Illustrator):

Holly Hatam’s a girl that sometimes wears something pink and sparkly and sometimes dons capes and fights dragons. Some days she’s moody, but other days she shakes her booty. Some days her heart may seek wild adventures, but other days she just wants to be a couch potato.

She is a picture book maker, greeting card designer, and a textile engineer. She is also the #1 New York Times Bestselling illustrator of Dear Girl. Her other books include, What Matters, Tree Song, Maxine the Maker, Jack (Not Jackie) and The Acadia Files.

Holly lives in Whitby, Ontario with her weird husband and even weirder son. But that’s ok, because weird is a side effect of awesome.

Client List: Harper Collins, Orca Publishers, Dial Books for Young Readers, Annick Press, Tilbury House, Lady Bird, Usborne Books, Hallmark, American Greetings, Mudpuppy, Baby Bug, Highlights, Chickadee, Little Bee Books, MacGraw Hill, Learning A-Z

Sneak peak:
 Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a finished copy of MADE BY MAXINE, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tour Schedule:

Week One:
11/19/2018- Lifestyle of Me- Review
11/20/2018- Here's to Happy Endings- Review
11/21/2018- Beagles & Books- Review
11/22/2018- Do You Dog-ear?- Review
11/23/2018- Chrikaru Reads- Review

Week Two:
11/26/2018- BookHounds YA- Review
11/27/2018- YA Books Central- Review
11/28/2018- Twirling Book Princess- Excerpt
11/29/2018- Oh Hey! Books.- Interview
11/30/2018- A Dream Within A Dream- Excerpt


  1. Replies
    1. It was a fun book! I like that it encourages children to use their imaginations and express themselves creatively.

  2. That sounds like a great book for kids.

    1. We really enjoyed reading it! My son had a lot of ideas afterwards, haha. :)

  3. This sounds really cute. I wish it had more explanations for the things she made though; that would be a fun touch!


    1. My thoughts exactly! I wish she had explained how the plants made music, and what she did to make her other inventions work. I think that would have made the story more engaging and interesting!

  4. This sounds like a fun book with a great message.

    1. I like that it encourages children to think for themselves, and to be creative with their ideas. :)


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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless