cover image Maya Makes a Mess

Maya Makes a Mess

Rutu Modan. Candlewick/Toon Books, $12.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-93517-917-7

Eisner winner Modan presents a cute—but messy—tale of table manners. Maya’s parents try to encourage her to have good manners, and when Maya is invited to dinner with the queen, she must put them to the test. But fancy food has no appeal for the girl, and her horrendous manners while eating ketchup and pasta start a royal trend. Young readers are sure to be delighted by Maya’s triumph over her parents as she wins the favor of the queen, but parents may be frustrated if their children begin to use Maya as an excuse for their own bad manners. Using art more than dialogue to move the story along, Modan makes the tale approachable for struggling readers, and her colorful images will charm even adults horrified by a ketchup and pasta mess. An afterword offers a real-world background of the inspiration for Maya’s tale almost as entertaining as the story itself. A fun read with an engaging hero. Ages 4–up. (Aug.)