Title: Maya Was Grumpy
Author/Illustrator: Courtney Pippin-Mathur
Publisher: Flashlight Press
Word Count: Approx. 300
Character is the picture book element of the day for Christie Wright Wild’s PB 14:14 blog challenge. Maya, the star of Maya Was Grumpy, radiates character! The author, Courtney Pippin-Mathur, did an excellent job bringing this little girl to life through text and illustrations.
The first line simply reads, “Maya was grumpy.” The accompanying illustration shows a young girl with big, wild hair and a scowl on her face. So already, on page one, we get a strong sense of Character.
The text on page two strengthens Character even more through the use of descriptive words:
She didn’t know why she was grumpy.
She was just in a crispy, cranky, grumpy, grouchy mood.
The words I put in bold type above were printed in bold in the book, along with several other descriptive words used in the story, such as:
rolled (her eyes)
When her very patient grandmother manages to change Maya’s mood and begins to literally turn her frown upside-down about 2/3 of the way through the book, we see a change also in the descriptive words:
The story is awesome! I would tell you more details, but I really want you to read it. One thing I will tell you about though, because it is my absolute favorite part of the book, and probably what I would consider the strongest aspect of the book to show Character, is Maya’s hair. Her hair gives her character because her hair changes with her mood. It almost has a life of its own. It starts off big and wild, but as her mood gets worse, it gets even bigger and wilder. Then later, as her mood improves, it begins to shrink and by the end of the story, we see a sweet, happy little girl with two curly ponytails.
We definitely get to know Maya and her personality through the wonderful text and super-colorful, super-amazing, full-page illustrations in Maya Was Grumpy!