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Max Versus The Cube: 10/08/17

Max Versus The Cube by Hanne Türk

Max Versus The Cube by Hanne Türk, originally published as Philipp gegen der Würfel is a wordless picture book about a mouse and a Rubik's cube. Max/Philipp starts with a solved cube, scrambles it, tries to unscramble it, and when he can't, comes up with a different way of "fixing" it.

Although the Rubik's cube is a distinctly 1980s toy — so much so that it's included in the 1980s display at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, it isn't a thing of the past. Sure, the fad has died down but the Rubik's cube inspired an entire puzzle cube industry. The speed solving tournaments still exist, and now there are many more than just the original 3x3 Rubik's cube.

I've come to know about puzzle cubes through my oldest who as a teenager has become interested in them. No — it's better to say that he's always been interested in them. It's only in the last few years that he's been able to solve them. When he was a child, he would dismantle them — usually while bored in the back seat of my car and I would later find the individual pieces on the floor and down the side of the seats where the belts come out.

This wordless book is also his, a gift from his grandmother as a reminder of how far he's come with being able to solve the standard cube as well as many of the different variations. Me, though, I'm still at Max's level, where repainting the damn thing seems like the only viable solution — no matter how many times my son tries to teach me the algorithm for solving it.

Three stars

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