Author(s): Sean Stockdale
Max is mad about sport. As he gets up, has breakfast and heads off to school, he is dreaming of competing in world class sporting events. In his real day, he and his class win the school football match and, in his imagination, he and his friends are winning the World Cup. This is a lively and fun approach to sport, and a very inclusive picture book showing disabled children and children without disabilities enjoying different sports together in a natural way. The sports include football, rugby, athletics, cricket, diving, discus throwing and cycling.
Selected by Fiona Noble in Bookseller Children's Previews: Picture Books for June. 'A lively, fun story promoting inclusivity and a positive portrayal of children enjoying sport with and without disabilities.' The Bookseller Recommended in an article about dyslexia: 'Shows a very positive and non-specific scene in which a thoroughly diverse and inclusive class of children is practising handwriting, with no direct mention of dyslexia.' NASEN Special Magazine 'I was utterly thrilled to see a whole cast of disabled children included naturally within a beautiful, accessible and funny mainstream picture book, relevant to all ages. We shall definitely be buying copies for our school library.' -- 978-1-84780-405-1 'The children and adults are just being themselves, not set apart in any way, and this is how disability should be shown in children's books and so rarely is. Inclusivity should be just that, so usual as to be un-noticeable... a special book.' Books for Keeps 'The two authors, working through Booktrust and NASEN, have long been proponents of inclusivity in children's books, and in this story have produced the ideal. The illustrations are bright and happy pictures of kids being kids and enjoying life to the full. A special book.' Books for Keeps 'Could this be the perfect inclusive book? ... A celebration of fun activity, showing us how a diverse mix of people make Max's reality (and his dreams) all the more vibrant and interesting, and it sends out the message that the same is true for all of us.' Bookmark 'What a wealth of opportunity for all children and a book that will go down really well in the classroom as teachers can use both as a good story book and also as a real resource for inclusion and disabilities as part of everyday life... published by Frances Lincoln. As publishers, they are amazing at delivering books that are both great reads and meet the needs of our diverse and rich culture.' Dolphin Book Blog 'It's a book which should make us stop and think about inclusion, as well as being a fun story about a very imaginative little boy. Colourful illustrations by Ros Asquith capture the spirit of the book.' Parents in Touch 'At once fun, inclusive of all and full of imagination. It is a picture book that champions diversity without making an issue of the subject. It is subtle, pervasive, clever, intelligent and much more... In creating Max the Champion the team have played a small part in changing the landscape of attitudes towards disability.' Armadillo 'Ros Asquith's ebullient illustrations capture Max's irrepressible energy in this warm hearted, inclusive picture book.' Love Reading 'A good book ... for promoting inclusion and positive attitudes towards those with disabilities.' Early Years Educator The book shows children with and without disabilities enjoying sport together in an attractive and funny mainstream picture book. Connected 'A really important book that belongs in every primary library, particularly after the great success of the paralympics last summer. It will encourage that interest in children and add greatly to the acceptance of disability.' Healthy Books 'Apart from Max's sheer enjoyment as he goes through his day with nothing but sport on his mind, nothing much happens. But that's fine. We want to see those 'different' children behaving just like everyone else. We shouldn't need a special book to do so. But we do. Here it is.' Bookwitch
ALEXANDRA STRICK has worked in the children's book world for the past 15 years. At Booktrust, she managed programmes including Bookstart and Children's Book Week, was deputy executive director, and regularly reviewed children's books for the Guardian. She is now a consultant to Booktrust on all aspects of disability and diversity, as well as working with other agencies and charities (she is co-founder of Inclusive Minds, the collective for all those interested in diversity and books and also Outside In, the UK organisation dedicated to exploring books from around the world). She has delivered training for writers, illustrators and publishers on accessible and inclusive books, both in the UK and internationally. SEAN STOCKDALE is an ex-teacher who is now Communications Manager for National Association for Special Educational Needs. He has extensive experience of working with disabled children and promoting equality and inclusion. ROS ASQUITH contributes Doris, a regular cartoon feature, to The Guardian. She is the author of the Teenage Worrier books which explore the many anxious moments facing teenagers, suggesting how to solve them with humour and self-reliance. Ros lives in north London. Her other titles for Frances Lincoln are The Great Big Book of Families (9781845079994), It's Not Fairy (9781847802361), Can It Be About Me? (9781847803405) and The Great Big Book of Feelings (9781847802811).