Josie the GREAT!

So many things are changing for Max and Bear. They've moved into a new house in a new neighborhood, and now ... a new baby? Max's parents keep talking about someone named Josie, but who is that? With his trusty friend Bear by his side, Max navigates the changes in his life and wonders what it all means.

Max and Bear wondered... Who's Josie the Great?"

Josie the Great is a mother-daughter collaboration between Pam and her daughter Anne Saxelby, artist and owner of Saxelby Cheesemongers in New York City. Pam wrote the text while Anne illustrated. The inspiration for Josie the Great came from Anne's two young children.


An Instant Classic:

Max & Bear

When Bear is given to Max’s dad at a very special party, Max wasn’t there yet. He is still growing in his mommy’s tummy. But Bear can wait. Bear is sure that Max will love him as soon as he is born. While he waits, Bear meets all of Max’s other friends. Sophie the giraffe is brown and white and squeaky. Turtle is a magical toy who lights up and plays music. Bear is soft and blue and full of love. He doesn’t squeak or blink or play music.

When Max is born, Bear gets so excited! But when Max’s mommy gives him Sophie the giraffe instead, Bear is disappointed. He decides to wait for Max to grow up a bit. Maybe then he’ll love Bear. When Max grows up so much that he moves into his crib, Bear gets so excited! But when his mommy gives Max Turtle to play with, he is again disappointed. Will Max ever need a friend he can hug and play with who doesn’t light up or make noise? Will Max ever notice Bear?

Max and Bear is a sweet story written with young readers in mind. Teach your children the power of love and remind them of the importance of waiting for good things to come with this delightful story of patience and friendship.


About the Author & Illustrator

Pam Saxelby



Author Pam Saxelby is an expert in early childhood education after more than twenty five years in the classroom. Pam's books Max and Bear and Josie the Great reflect her years working with, and listening to, very young children: as a pre-K teacher, as a mother and as a grandmother. In addition to her books for Children, Pam authors parenting advice blog. Pam lives in Chicago and Islamorada, Florida.

Even before writing her own children's books, Pam found inspiration in the books of other authors. 

"As a young teacher I was inspired by the art and appeal of Eric Carle's work. His use of color and play in what he designs is magic. Mo Willems is brilliant, and his use of what's just a little bit naughty, as well as fun appeals to all children. And then there's Jon Klassen, who is so irreverent and subtle in the books he composes, that I take "my hat" off to him!"

- Pam Saxelby

Anne Saxelby


Pam's oldest daughter Anne Saxelby is a leader in the artisan food movement as founder of Saxelby Cheesemongers in New York City. In addition to being an expert in American Farmstead Cheese, Anne is an artist who studied in the Studio Art Department at NYU. Now she has collaborated with her mother to illustrate Pam's latest book, Josie the Great. Anne's two young children were Pam’s inspiration for both books, so Anne drew from life.  Josie the Great  is Anne’s debut as a book illustrator. Anne and her family live in Brooklyn, NY.