Today (10 January) BookTrust, the UK's largest children's reading charity, has revealed the two titles for this year's Bookstart Baby and Bookstart Treasure packs.

Ed Vere's Max the Brave, published by Penguin Random House Children's, has been selected for the Bookstart Treasure pack, with 600,000 free copies going out to children aged 3-4, which they'll collect from their nursery, children's centre or early years setting. Bookstart Treasure aims to continue the impact of Bookstart Baby programme (which provides a free book for babies under 12 months), supporting children and families to experience reading and its benefits at a young age.

Max the Brave is the New York Times-bestselling story of a brave kitten who sets out to find a mouse to chase. It is a hilarious and vibrant picturebook, featuring Ed's trademark bold illustrations (as seen recently in The Grumpy Frog).

Commenting on the announcement, Ed said: "It’s an incredible honour for my book to be chosen for BookTrust Treasure from such a high-level field of so many amazing books. I can’t tell you how thrilled and delighted I am that so many children are going to get the opportunity to read Max the Brave! 

I think it’s so important to put high quality, entertaining and fun books in front of not only children but the grownups who are going to read the books to them. If a grownup is bored reading to a child, that will transmit to the child and if parents know there are great books out there that are entertaining then children will grow up loving reading because it’s fun. I think that’s essential and it’s what reading is all about. Introducing books to children at an early age like this is exactly what we have to do. If we’re going to encourage children to read, which we must because it’s so important, then we have to do it with good books and I’m thrilled that Max is considered a good book. Thank you BookTrust.” 

His editor, Andrea MacDonald, added: "How wonderful to support BookTrust in their amazing work; we’re thrilled that Ed’s gorgeous, funny, and empowering book, Max the Brave is going to be shared with so many pre-schoolers across England. It’s a delight to read and reread, and is a brilliant start on the path to a love of words and pictures.”

Ed Vere is the author and illustrator of numerous picture books. Max the Brave is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller and has spawned sequels Max at Night and Max and Bird. He lives in London, England. Learn more about Ed’s work at

This year's Bookstart Baby programme title was announced as David Melling's 123 Splosh, published by Hodder. To find out more about the programme, visit the BookTrust website.

  • Max the Brave


  • Max the Brave is a brilliant new picture book from Ed Vere.

    This is Max. Max the Brave, Max the Fearless, Max the Mouse-catcher...

    But, in order to be a Mouse-catcher, Max needs to know what a mouse is, so off he goes to find out.

    This hilarious new picture book from the phenomenally-talented Ed Vere introduces a new and lovable character, with Ed's trademark bold illustrations and clever story.

    Other Ed Vere titles to look out for:
    Banana; Bedtime for Monsters; Mr. Big

    Ed Vere studied fine art at Camberwell College of Art and has been writing and illustrating children's books since 1999. He is published in both England and the US. Ed is also a painter, working from his studio in east London and is represented by galleries in London and Los Angeles. After a year and a half living in Barcelona, Ed now lives and works in London.

  • Buy the book

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