Maxx Rumble is a sports-loving boy who tends to exaggerate when he gets excited (like some boys do – including me). That’s why, during a normal game of football, cricket or soccer, he might end up:
- breaking every bone in his ribcage
- dodging hailstones the size of watermelons
- or kicking a goal while he’s wrapped in bandages like a mummy!
His imagination sometimes gets the better of him. But that’s okay because it makes his sporting stories are extra fun and exciting.
First few ideas
I invented Maxx in 2003 when I noticed my son and his mates tended to exaggerate about their own sporting adventures. They were in primary school at the time and told some wonderfully entertaining (though not entirely reliable) stories about the amazing things that had happened to them on the sports field.
But I was equally inspired by an ad on TV at the time, which showed a kid who was about five talking about the time that he ‘got bitten by a crocodile’. As he recounted this imaginary story, he got so wound up that his legs and guts were flying all over the place. It was a very funny ad and I thought the boy was a natural storyteller. So I decided to make a character who got very carried away in his storytelling – but whose stories were so much fun that it didn’t matter if they were entirely true or not.
Then my son, Wil, had a friend over to play. His name was Beren Rumble. I liked Beren’s name a lot, but I didn’t want to take his whole name, just in case I wrote something that embarrassed him. So I took his surname and added the name Max.
Max was my wife’s suggestion. She thought it sounded like a fun, sporty name for a boy. I thought she was right, so that’s what he became. I then added the second x to his name because I’d noticed a trend towards unique spellings in names and I thought I’d do something a bit different with Max. He became Maxx.
Also around this time, I remember lying in bed one Saturday morning, when the word “crunched” popped into my head. Along with it came an instinctive feeling that it was important. I wrote it in my journal and waited to see what (if anything) would become of it. Then I added it to the name Maxx Rumble and the idea of exaggerated sporting stories and a series was born.
Strangely for me, I vividly remember the creation of Maxx Rumble. Maybe it’s because it’s the series that established my career as an author, or maybe it’s because I really love the little guy.
What others are saying about Maxxy
‘These valuably imaginative easy to read stories with their well-matched brilliant cartoon illustrations are just … right for those sports mad young boys for whom reading is a chore, but they would be great for any reader, young and old, and good for story-telling sessions as well for aged 7 to 10 and up.‘ Reading Time, The Children’s Book Council of Australia
‘The combination of two of Australia’s most hilarious creators of children’s books has resulted in a hoot of a series with soccer as its basis. Perfect for boys or girls.’ Krista Bell, acclaimed author and book reviewer on ABC Radio Queensland.
‘I will be forever indebted to Wagner for turning my … son into a passionate reader overnight.’ Babyology Blog
‘One does not need to know anything about soccer or be a soccer fan to be caught up in this very enjoyable trio of stories. They will delight any reader, no matter what might be their sporting interests. For a good laugh they are real winners.’ Reading Time, The Children’s Book Council of Australia
‘This is the perfect read for kids who love to get caught up in the excitement of footy fever action!’ Disney Adventures Magazine
‘…non-stop action all the way and will, I suspect, be enormously popular with younger primary school readers, both boys and girls.’ Russ Merrin, Magpies Magazine
‘A winning formula, well executed. 4 STARS‘ Bookseller and Publisher, 2014
‘Both series are thrilling, exciting and the pictures from Terry Denton are great. People who love their sports will love these books.’ Matthew U. of Year 7
‘Full of cool illustrations and nail-biting events, you’ll love this sporting series.’ Disney Magazine
‘I love these little books about Maxx Rumble… easy to read for the younger reader, but right through to adults will get a laugh.’ Joan Steinman, Ballarat Courier
‘Each book is a quick read, self-contained and full of laughs. The comic illustrations by Terry Denton on every page add to the fun. Read alone or as a series, these are plenty of fun for sports-mad youngsters. Sally Murphy, www.aussiereviews.com
‘Even the most reluctant reader will find these books irresistible – I did, and I don’t even like Aussie Rules!’ Kerry Foster, Good Reading
‘The fun, fast-moving and madcap stories celebrate the uniquely Australian sport of footy.’ Classroom Magazine
‘KBR loves a book series that gets boys reading, and this fabulous fun collection from Michael Wagner will have them fully-engaged.’ Kids’ Book Review