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Max's Christmas Stocking: 12/25/09
On our trip to Oregon in 2008 we watched an episode of Ruby and Max in our motel room. That was our one and only exposure to the characters created by Rosemary Wells. Since then we've been reading through her Yoko series of picture books which we've all loved.
Max's Christmas Stocking is a board book with a stocking mix up. Max gets his sisters gifts: tiara, fairy wings and magic wand. And Ruby gets his gifts. The "problem" though is that Max likes the gifts in his stocking. He decides to play dress up.
When Max started playing with his sister's gifts I was worried that the book would make a big deal about toys for girls vs. toys for boys but it doesn't exactly do that. Instead Max has to swap gifts with Ruby because she's disappointed that she didn't get the gift she wanted and that was intended for her. However, she also enjoyed playing with her brother's robot dress up toys so they decide to share the gifts.
I liked the sharing solution because it avoids the more typical gender stereotyping that picture books so often fall into. I also like the positive reinforcement of sharing and being comfortable playing outside of "normal" conventions. It would have been perfect though if Ruby had seemed more comfortable with Max wanting to share her gift.
Other Rosemary Wells books reviewed here: