Seriously spiritual, surprisingly funny

September 20th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

Loved this enchanting, award-winning book. Any reader, dog lover or not, is sure to fall under its heart-warming and life-affirming spell from the very first Maxim.

Life to the Max is completely unique and for this alone it is laudable. At first glance it seems like a fun, entertaining read; a delightful picture book for adults. It certainly is all those marvelous things. But amazingly, it’s also a powerful story about family, love and life.

I intended to read Life to the Max quietly on my own as a special treat. But when my six-year old daughter caught sight of it she asked me to read it to her at bedtime. We read it over several nights and it turned out to be a sublime experience for both of us.

My little girl would nod seriously and say “uh-huh, uh-huh” along with each spiritually enlightened Maxim in a curiously knowledgeable way! Sure enough, the Maxims really are truisms for a life well-lived. We laughed-out-loud together; giggled with delight — and yes, at one point I was moved to tears.

What a joy this book is. I hope children as well as adults have the opportunity to read its positive message. Life to the Max is a gift book in the very real sense of the word “gift”; a blessing for anyone of any age to receive.

The alchemy of beautiful story, gorgeous design and wise spiritual counsel make it an extraordinarily inspirational, magical book.

By F. Kennedy
Author, dog mom, Amazon.com book reviewer

A Life Well Lived

September 18th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

“Treasure the people who can see you for who you really are.” ~ Maxim #3

“Life to the Max” is a loving story about a dog named Max. The story is told from his perspective so it is filled with humor and love. For half the book I had a grin on my face and even laughed out loud. The second half of the book deals with the realities of aging and yet even the ending was filled with adventure and fun because Max is reunited with one of his doggie friends. This book would be perfect for anyone who has lost a dog to illness and is trying to understand why this has happened to them. As Robin Reynolds tells the story (told to her by Max) she also includes maxims that are easy to remember. I think you will love this book, especially if you are a pet owner. ~ The Rebecca Review

By Rebecca Johnson “SeasonedwithLove.com” (Washington State)

A Dear & Honest Story for Lovers of Life & Dog Lovers

September 18th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

This dear and honest story is for the lovers of life and dog lovers. From my point of view as a psychotherapist, Life to the Max is also a must-have for those working with wondering children, clarifying adolescents and evolving adults. It speaks to life’s inevitable transitions, challenges and celebrations. Max is a reminder of what dogs do best and we all seek…to be in the moment. I highly recommend this tender book for those looking to maximize their lives and relationships.

By Linda Kreisel, M.A. CPC (Phoenix, AZ)

Life to the Max made me max-ificent!

August 28th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

Robin Reynolds is hardly the first woman to write the self-help, feel-good book for adults or children on life’s lessons, but this creative soul chose an unusual route to what appears to be publishing success. She has taken the “traditional” self-help, life lessons concept and written it from the voice of her late pet, Max who has personality to “the max” and keeps you turning pages.

Bypassing clichés, she writes clear and concise messages with one-liners on lessons for all ages along with the story and experience of this lovable dog that could have only been in Robin’s household. She has taken the children’s book genre to a new level by including the “big kids” like you and me. With the reminders we love to remember and the lessons we hold dear, Life to the Max is a journey back in time and you should not miss it.

Originally awarded the “best gift book award” by the AZ Book Publishers Association this past year, this book has transcended that arena and catapulted itself into self-help. By gently taking us on a path only a well-bred, sophisticated pooch like Max could take us, we travel all the way to his most critical lessons in life.

Many books about dogs are sappy, and I like dogs, many books for children are not educational, and I am a demanding teacher. Many books in the self-help genre are insulting and I read about one a month, but this book Robin has written takes all of that to task and shines through a different view — that of a lovable family pet.

Robin has found her niche in children’s books by utilizing the voice of an animal to tell “big kids” and children about life. Her work should be lauded for its fine writing, graceful lessons, good humor, beautiful illustrations, and fun photos and of course the philosophy behind it all.

I commend Robin and Max for doing an outstanding job, along with the other characters she developed to make this a family we would want to know and have as neighbors. I recommend this book to any of you as a gift giving idea for any “big kid” or smaller child on your list — self-help genre is a natural for gift giving.

We are in challenging times and many are seeking quiet and spiritual moments. I was moved to tears while reading this beautiful book and all the issues it addresses and all the lessons it reminded me were possible to revisit and love again.

Thank you, Robin, for rolling the dice and taking a shot at a new type of writing for you, we are all the better for it. We appreciate your courage in telling this very personal and heartfelt story that needed to be out there to be useful to many readers young and “forever young.”

Patricia L. Brooks, 
author, speaker, publishing consultant and associate faculty member of the Arizona State University Morrison School of Business, founder and president of the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers

Max is one smart dog!

July 4th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

Simple lessons for a well-lived life are shared with warmth and humor from a dog’s perspective. Max’s innocent and optimistic wisdom guides the reader through all the ups and downs of life with Max-imum joy and enthusiasm. Max’s story covers a variety of themes including how to get through tough times, what it means to be family, the importance of forgiveness, trust and gratitude, and how to let go. We should all be so wise as this haaand-some Airedale! This colorful, beautifully designed book will appeal to children and adults alike, and especially to animal lovers. Paws up for Life to the Max!

By Claire M. Perkins
Author, “Deep Water Leaf Society”

Parenting Expert Endorses “Life to the MAX!”

March 30th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

When an Airedale Terrier named Max entered the household of Robin Reynolds, he quickly made himself at home and taught Robin and her family many life lessons. In Life to the Max: Maxims for a Great Life by a Dog Named Max, Max narrates his own life (with the help of his “mom” Robin), from his adoption at the Humane Society to his eventual death. He describes his adventures with Bernie, the family’s other Airedale, along with Amber, the puppy they adopted after Bernie’s death. Max also “writes” about the adoption of his human brother, Andrew, as well as the many trials he goes through, such as melanoma and amputation, getting picked up by Animal Control, and the physical problems associated with aging. Through it all, Max always maintains his sunny disposition and teaches his family many “maxims,” such as:

When bad things happen, worrying won’t change anything. Trust you’ll get through it.
Trust that you’ll meet just the right people at just the right time.
Get the most out of life by doing things you enjoy!
Help someone else by sharing the gift of you.
No matter what happens, there are reasons to be happy and grateful.
Never miss a chance to tell those closest to you that you love them.
…And much more!

Life to the Max is extremely well-written and filled with beautiful photos of Max with his canine and human companions. Best of all, this book appeals to everyone, both children and adults. Not only is it inspirational, but it can be read to children to stimulate family conversations about caring for pets, illness, friendship, adoption, aging, and death. It’s not surprising that this book was named Best Gift Book in the 2008 AZ Book Awards and received an Award of Excellence from the Dog Writer Association of America. Twenty-five percent of the book’s sale price is donated to animal rescue organizations. Visit http://www.lifetomax.com to learn more about Life to the Max and order a copy for all the animal lovers in your life!

By Susan Heim
Parenting author and “Chicken Soup for the Soul” editor

As told from a dog’s point of view!

September 3rd, 2008 by Robin Reynolds

This book is a breath of fresh air. This book, which looks like a child’s picture book is a story told by Max, an Airedale Terrier about his life and the wisdom his family gains from him. If dogs could talk, this is what they would say! Max shares his feelings about his daily life and situations such as the art of relaxing and why dogs, might take a while circling to get the “best” and most relaxing spot, or about how much each small trip or gesture is truly enjoyed and appreciated by a dog. Max brings simplicity back to the front of our minds, and reminds us of the things we take for granted. A book for the whole family! The photo’s are just beautiful!

By Michelle Dunn
Columnist, author, credit expert, marketing guru