Magnus Maximus 2017-08-28T11:20:41+00:00

Magnus Maximus, A Marvelous Measurer

Written by Kathleen Pelley | Illustrated by S.D. Schindler

2011 Bank Street Best Book

2011 Oppenheim Portfolio Award

Anne Izard Storytelling Award

Colorado Book Award

Magnus MaximusMAGNUS MAXIMUS is a marvelous measurer. With his glasses perched at the end of his nose, he measures wetness and dryness, nearness and farness, and everything else in between.

When a lion escapes from a traveling circus, Magnus comes to the rescue with his ubiquitous measuring tape. Hailed as a hero, he now becomes the town’s official measurer and sets out to measure all kinds of NESSes, from the wobbliness of a jellyfish to the itchiness of an itch. And every Saturday he holds a contest to measure all kinds of ESTs, from the floppiest ears to the stinkiest socks.

However, such a frenzy of measuring takes its toll on Magnus. And one day, when he accidentally breaks his glasses, he is faced with a dreadful dilemma. A marvelous tale to remind us that the best things in life are not meant to be measured, but treasured.

Buy the Book

IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers

Activity Guide

Kathleen’s guides assist readers to a deeper understanding of concepts in her books with activities such as games, puzzles and discussion questions.

View the Activity Guide

MaxLibs: A ‘Parts of Speech’ Activity (PDF)

Book Trailer

Video essay on the inspiration for Magnus Maximus

A Visit to Mumbai

Kathleen shares Magnus Maximus with Indian students at Shri Ram Vidya Mandir High School, Kandivali East, Mumbai.

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Kirkus Reviews

This is a lovely marriage of word and image. Pelley’s text is brightly humorous and musical…and that goes for Schindler’s illustrations as well, with their busily elegant line work, their lustrous washes of color and, best of all, their high and brilliant tomfoolery.

Kirkus Reviews

Magnus Maximus Children's Book written by Kathleen Pelley
2015-04-29T17:18:34+00:00

Kirkus Reviews

This is a lovely marriage of word and image. Pelley’s text is brightly humorous and musical…and that goes for Schindler’s illustrations as well, with their busily elegant line work, their lustrous washes of color and, best of all, their high and brilliant tomfoolery.

School Library Journal

Children will enjoy the humor in this eccentric’s ever-increasing obsession.

School Library Journal

Magnus Maximus Children's Book written by Kathleen Pelley
2015-04-29T17:19:04+00:00

School Library Journal

Children will enjoy the humor in this eccentric’s ever-increasing obsession.

Library Media Connection, Starred Review

What a marvelous reading adventure Magnus Maximus is for any reader! One could linger over each miraculous page. This book is the true measure of what children’s literature should be…. Science and math books are in great demand, and I could think of no better way to introduce a unit on measurement than with Magnus. Alliterations abound and the vocabulary is so juicy that readers receive a double dose of learning and entertainment with each paragraph…As if that isn’t enough, the tale is full of the value of noticing the small things in life, the importance of human communication and connection, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Library Media Connection, Starred Review

Magnus Maximus Children's Book written by Kathleen Pelley
2015-04-29T17:19:31+00:00

Library Media Connection, Starred Review

What a marvelous reading adventure Magnus Maximus is for any reader! One could linger over each miraculous page. This book is the true measure of what children’s literature should be…. Science and math books are in great demand, and I could think of no better way to introduce a unit on measurement than with Magnus. Alliterations abound and the vocabulary is so juicy that readers receive a double dose of learning and entertainment with each paragraph…As if that isn’t enough, the tale is full of the value of noticing the small things in life, the importance of human communication and connection, and the triumph of the human spirit.

San Francisco Chronicle

Even adults will be mesmerized by the obsessively measuring Magnus. The pictures alone are magically captivating with a vitality that brings the tale to the child’s full attention…the story is written with a lilting quality that makes the words sing, while the illustrations match the meter of the words. Truly this is a beautifully crafted tale.

San Francisco Chronicle

Magnus Maximus Children's Book written by Kathleen Pelley
2015-04-29T17:19:58+00:00

San Francisco Chronicle

Even adults will be mesmerized by the obsessively measuring Magnus. The pictures alone are magically captivating with a vitality that brings the tale to the child’s full attention…the story is written with a lilting quality that makes the words sing, while the illustrations match the meter of the words. Truly this is a beautifully crafted tale.

365 Great Children’s Books

There are so many things I love about this story. Most of all, I love its message that no matter how busy life can get, we must never forget to slow down and take time to appreciate the simple things in life that make the world so beautiful. Feel the icy cold of the ocean on our feet. Build a sandcastle. Watch the sun set. Gaze at the stars.

365 Great Children’s Books (full review)

Magnus Maximus Children's Book written by Kathleen Pelley
2015-04-29T17:20:32+00:00

365 Great Children’s Books (full review)

There are so many things I love about this story. Most of all, I love its message that no matter how busy life can get, we must never forget to slow down and take time to appreciate the simple things in life that make the world so beautiful. Feel the icy cold of the ocean on our feet. Build a sandcastle. Watch the sun set. Gaze at the stars.

Publishers Weekly

A gentle lesson awaits the ultrafocused Magnus when a boy befriends him and teaches him that even more important than measuring the “floppiest ears” or the “stinkiest socks” is the “snugness of a hand in a hand.” Though sweet, the turn of events is not treacly, keeping the tale’s pleasing silliness at the forefront. With equal humor, Schindler’s muted, intricately crosshatched illustrations depict a formal, British 19th-century setting, with corseted ladies and men in top hats—the perfect foil to the ludicrous scenes.

Publishers Weekly

Magnus Maximus Children's Book written by Kathleen Pelley
2015-04-29T17:21:05+00:00

Publishers Weekly

A gentle lesson awaits the ultrafocused Magnus when a boy befriends him and teaches him that even more important than measuring the “floppiest ears” or the “stinkiest socks” is the “snugness of a hand in a hand.” Though sweet, the turn of events is not treacly, keeping the tale’s pleasing silliness at the forefront. With equal humor, Schindler’s muted, intricately crosshatched illustrations depict a formal, British 19th-century setting, with corseted ladies and men in top hats—the perfect foil to the ludicrous scenes.