Kathleen PelleyKathleen Pelley
Kathleen Pelley Kathleen Pelley Kathleen Pelley

Magnus Maximus, A Marvelous Measurer

A Picture Book by Kathleen T. Pelley

Illustrated by S.D. Schindler

Received a Gold Seal from the Oppenheim Portfolio Awards*

Magnus Maximus

Magnus 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.

Magnus Maximus

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.



Kathleen's video essay on the inspiration for Magnus Maximus
Kathleen reading Magnus Maximus:

DOWNLOAD an Educators Guide (PDF)
DOWNLOAD MaxCounts: A Counting Activity (PDF)
DOWNLOAD MaxLibs: A Parts of Speech Activity (PDF)

View the book trailer:


IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
Hardcover Picture Book (ages 5-8), 2011 ISBN: 9780374347253


Selected as a Bank Street Best Book in the 5-9 age group

Received a Gold Seal from the Oppenheim Portfolio Awards*

"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

"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

"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

"Children will enjoy the humor in this eccentric's ever-increasing obsession."
   —School Library Journal

"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

"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 (read the full review)

*Joanne Oppenheim, noted author on education and books for children, and her daughter Stephanie Oppenheim, have been publishing reviews of books and toys for children since 1989. Each year, they award Platinum Seals and Gold Seals to books in various categories.



Students in India reading Magnus!

Shri Ram Vidya Mandir High School, Kandivali East, Mumbai