Max the Magnificent.


96 pages
ISBN 978-1-897073-94-0
DDC jC813'.6






Illustrations by David Okum
Reviewed by Alison Mews

Alison Mews is co-ordinator of the Centre for Instructional Services at
Memorial University of Newfoundland.


Maximillian J. Wigglesworth III believes that with a name like his he should be a millionaire—preferably by the age of 12. Obsessed with getting filthy rich, he comes up with a variety of hare-brained schemes that all backfire stupendously, but all with unexpected positive results.


In Max the Magnificent, he’s sure that becoming a magician will immediately provide him with untold wealth. When a real magician comes to town he seizes the opportunity to learn some trade secrets. Instead of magical tricks, Max and his reluctant accomplice Sid encounter illegal monkey business and expose the criminals.


In Max the Mighty Superhero, he’s certain that good deeds will garner him monetary rewards and he goes about assisting people—whether they want it or not. But when a suspected case of dog napping proves false and Sid convinces him to actually earn money instead, they end up rescuing mistreated animals in a puppy mill.


In Max the Movie Director, Max becomes enamoured with the idea of making a blockbuster movie with his dad’s hand-held camera and his buddy Sid as the star. He impulsively plunges into production with hilarious results, not the least of which is uncovering a criminal personal injury scam.


And in Max the Businessman, Max’s latest get-rich scheme involves marketing seedlings to local businesses, but as usual, things quickly get out of hand and the destruction of a prize-winning orchid sets Max and Sid down another garden path as they seek the culprit.


Reminiscent of the Maggie and Cyril books by Ted Staunton, these snappy stories of Max and Sid (whose hippie parents named her Serendipity Sunshine) are filled with preposterous situations. With their breezy dialogue, short chapters, black and white illustrations, and male protagonist, these books will appeal to boys as well as to newly confident and reluctant readers of both genders. The plots all have an element of mystery and they zip along quickly to keep readers intrigued and motivated. All of the books are recommended.


Wiebe, Trina., “Max the Magnificent.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 13, 2024,