What a wonderful, eye-opening book! It helps young children to learn about not carrying their feelings, emotions, and memories around as a burden. Instead it helps them to think positive thoughts and let go of the negative. Here, Max is given a box by his parents. He finds he can store as many things as he likes in there. At first, it’s his toys (or memories of toys). But soon, not knowing what to do with his negative feelings, he hides them away in the box, too. Soon, it’s a cumbersome weight, preventing him from enjoying life. What a wonderful metaphor!
The illustrations are also top-notch, using pen and watercolors to tell the story in a warm grayscale, at first. Then, as Max thinks happier thoughts (portrayed as balloons) his perceptions become awash in vivid colors. The straightforward, helpful advice to parents at the end of the book is also great. This is truly a delight. One of the best children’s books of the year.