Sunday, May 09, 2010

Magnus Maximus, A Marvelous Measurer

Magnus Maximus, A Marvelous Measurer
by Kathleen T. Pelley
illustrated by S.D. Schindler
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2010
review copy provided by the publisher

This is a fable that will ring true to anyone who needs to find a little more balance in their life.

This is a fable that will ring true to educators who are tired of measuring, measuring, measuring (testing, testing, testing) and who long to get back to the true experience of joining hands with children and learning together.

Magnus Maximus measures "wetness and dryness, nearness and farness, and everything else in between." He counts "clouds in the sky, petals on a geranium, freckles on a nose, measles on a tummy, or raisins in a bun." He becomes the town's official measurer and measures "all kinds of NESSes" (like the wobbliness of a jellyfish) and "all kinds of ESTs" (like the stinkiest socks).

Then one day, he accidentally steps on his glasses and he can't see to count or measure. He goes down to the sea, where he meets a boy named Michael who invites him to play in the waves and make a sandcastle.

The next day, when his glasses are ready, Magnus Maximus begins to measure again as usual. But at 6:00 that evening, he takes his glasses off, makes a pot of tea, and sits in the garden and enjoys the end of his day...without measuring a single thing.

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