Monday, March 2, 2015

Maya Was Grumpy by Courtney Pippin-Mathur

Maya Was Grumpy by Courtney Pippin-Mathur
Flashlight Press

Rating: 5 stars

Maya was grumpy. She doesn't know why she's in what my dad called a poopy mood. She doesn't want to "read or color or eat banana chips, or wear her favorite shorts, or go outside and play." She just wants to spread the bad mood--the cat she snarls at, the birds she makes faces at, and the brothers she grumbles to get out of her way.

Gramma in the kitchen is the only one left. So Maya thumps and growls and takes her bad mood over to Gramma.

But there's no pulling down Gramma into her bad mood. Nope. Wise, cheerful Gramma has a few tricks up her polka-dotted, muumuu sleeves. Gramma starts listing silly things that she was going to do with Maya and her brothers today--things that will now have to be rescheduled because of Maya's grumpy mood.

"Feeling a little grumpy today?" Gramma asked.
Maya just scowled.
"I guess that means no hunting for hippos after breakfast," she starts with.

"And no putting your head in a crocodile's mouth before lunch," as she shrugs her shoulders.

"Bathing baby elephants would probably be a bad idea today if you're grumpy," Gramma says as she moves around through the breakfast routine.

Each wild suggestion is vividly painted for young readers to see, in colors brighter than the brightest imagination. There's Gramma and Maya and two boys swimming along, looking for hippos...and Gramma and Maya and two boys tickling a toothy tarantula...and Gramma and Maya and two boys sliding down the neck of a super tall giraffe.

In the beginning, Gramma's wild suggestions are met with scowls and "That's just silly" comments and the dreaded eye roll. But soon, Maya can't help but crack a smile, and the corners of her frown are wiggling up a little more each time, until a giggle bursts out and breaks up that grumpy mood once and for all.
...and Maya felt much better.

Maya hugs Gramma.

I can't write one more thing about this book without mentioning Maya's wild and fiery, curly-swirly mass of hair. It covers the first few pages and serves as the embodiment of her grumpiness. I don't know how Pippin-Mathur came up with this hair-as-mood idea but it is just great! As Maya calms down and cools off and cheers up, her hair also comes back to a more self-controlled state.

My fingers are crossed that your kids have a Gramma-like person in their lives who can evaporate bad moods with patience and love and silliness. In fact, I hope YOU have a Gramma-like person who can quietly and sweetly make your poopy mood POOF! disappear. And I hope us curly-swirly hair types can tame the frizz like Maya can...

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