cover image Maude: The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton

Maude: The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton

Lauren Child, illus. by Trisha Krauss. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6515-9

In an age of Instagrammed selfies, live-tweeted dinners, and reality shows for everyone, the Shrimpton family embodies the idea of personal celebrity. Readers first see them in a framed photograph, as they ensure their best sides are showing while jostling each other for prominence. Mrs. Shrimpton favors extraordinary hats (“Her latest had a live peacock positioned perkily on top”), her husband has a dramatic mustache, and three of their four children are talented and/or beautiful. Middle daughter Maude is the exception—she literally blends in with the scenery. There are many stories about being true to oneself, and (unlike Maude) this one stands out, for both its stylishness and its gleefully wicked ending. Because when Maude requests a goldfish for her birthday and gets a tiger instead, her family forgets one detail about tigers: “They do get very hungry.” And when they do, it’s best not to be wearing tap shoes or a peacock. Child’s razor-sharp humor is in top form, and it’s also a highly auspicious debut for Krauss, whose chic Wes Anderson meets New York Fashion Week aesthetic is as memorable as the Shrimptons themselves. Ages 5–8. (Aug.)