‘Max & George’ – a story about imaginary friends

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Children’s imaginations are wonderful, magical things. They can conjure castles in the sky, monsters under the bed… and imaginary friends.

Max & George, written by Cori Brooke and illustrated by Sue deGennaro, is a story about a little boy, Max, and his imaginary friend, George. George lives in windows.

“House windows and car windows. Train windows and shop windows. Max was never lonely as long as he had a window.”

The best thing about George was that he felt the same way as Max about all sorts of things (fancy that?!). So when Max is feeling a little apprehensive about starting school, George is there, in the school window, to keep him company.

One afternoon Max thought George seemed especially jittery and nervous. Max was also feeling pretty nervous. He was starting school in a few days.”

But what happens when Max meets some ‘real life’ friends in the school playground?

Ultimately, Max makes friends with other kids and stops looking in windows. I actually found the end of this story quite poignant – an important part of growing up is giving away imaginary friends and security blankets but it doesn’t mean it’s not a teensy bit sad!

This is a terrific book for kids who are a little anxious about new situations and strikes a good balance between holding onto familiar comforts and facing new experiences. Kids avoiding giving up their security blanket or similar will happily note that on the last page of this story, Max is not completely without George.

Mention must be made of deGennaro’s delicate, thoughtful illustrations. She has captured the relationship between Max and George beautifully, with each character a perfect, expressive ‘mirror’ of the other.

Max & George is suitable for children aged three years and over and can be found online at Penguin Australia.

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Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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