Book Review: Max Kornell’s Me First

Posted March 18, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Children's

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Max Kornell’s Me First

Me First


Max Kornell

picture book that was published by Nancy Paulsen Books on May 15, 2014 and has 32 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

A standalone picture book for young children battling with the need to be first, uses third-person objective point-of-view.

My Take

Parents will so get this one! Especially if their kids are as competitive as Hal and Martha, but I’m not sure that many are as combative as these two.

I do like how Martha twists things back, so Hal isn’t quite so hurtful. These two spend so much time trying to beat each other in being first, that they aren’t really paying attention to where they are. Until.

That’s when they discover how nice it is to be together. To help each other. To be there for each other. It’s amazing how the mood of the story changed after they went exploring down that new path from frantic to helpfully considerate.

It could make for a good talking point with the kids. See if/how they feel that change in mood. At the very least, parents could fantasize about this happening, lol.

Then there’s that last line…and I’m wondering how long that mood lasts, *more laughter*

The graphics are great with rich, soft colors. It’s a cozy little village of softly rounded hills, some of the pictures remind me of Italian villages.

The Story

Competition can be a healthy thing unless you’re like Hal and Martha who insist on being first at anything.

It takes exploring a new route home for Hal and Martha to discover that me first isn’t always the best.

The Characters

Hal is Martha‘s older brother. Hah, he was first there and will always be first. Dad and Mom are patient with their arguing.

The Cover and Title

The cover is too cute with its kid-like graphics of two young donkeys: Martha dressed in a pink coat over an orange dress (with a bow between her ears) and Hal in green pants with the cuffs rolled up and black suspenders over a white shirt. Hal is about to stick a “toe” on a line of rocks crossing a small river while Martha is looking on in anger. The background is green hills angling up from the center, dotted with trees, a deep blue stream of water, lazily winding along with a beach on one side, the sky a lovely summer blue with a big puffy cloud. The author’s name is on the sand in a purply sort of gray, following the river while the title is in a white, scratchy chalk-like font right at the bottom.

The title is the cry of children everywhere — Me First.