November 2013, Book Island, 32 pages, Hardback, Review copy
Summary from Book Island
Maia is an impatient little scamp. When something pops into her head, she wants it. Now! Right this minute! Her grandma’s just the same and they get along like a house on fire. One day Grandma falls ill and loses her control over words. The grown-ups don’t seem to understand her, but Maia never loses sight of her strong, wonderful grandma and knows exactly what she means.
Two things drew me to this stoey, the cover text and the cover illustrations. The title resonated with what I find important in life. The rest of the story did too - Maia's first word was something extremely important (and yummy!), Maia's life was filled with fun until her grandma got sick then a lot changed and there was an unexpected plot twist that took me by surprise.
It's not just the story though which makes this book sweet, it's the illustrations. Detailed is an understatement. The inside covers reminded me when I was little and had stamps and ink to play with and put anything anywhere. Even though the scenes change there are key characters who keep coming back including the squirrel and a bird. The illustrations don't necessarily match exactly what the story says, but they do match exactly the emotions which Maia is feeling. I liked how the nurses didn't have any facial features, to me that signifies they weren't important to Maia and were annoying entities that were to be avoided. Oddly I didn't find it weird when her grandpa was almost hugging the house - I felt that he was showing his love for Maia and her grandmother.
The use of dark and light definitely matches the mood of the story, with the dark being somber and uncertain but not scary in a bad way. Hours can be spent both over the illustrations and wondering what happened next to Maia and her family or how the reader would deal with the events that happen.
Another thought provoking read is My Grandpa by Marta Altes (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10E)