cover image Maya Was Grumpy

Maya Was Grumpy

Courtney Pippin-Mathur. Flashlight (IPG, dist.), $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-9362611-3-0

When a girl named Maya wakes up in a “crispy, cranky, grumpy, grouchy mood,” she tries to spread her gloom around (“The only thing Maya wanted to do was grouch around the house and share her bad mood”), but her cat, younger brothers, and grandmother aren’t having any of it. It’s indefatigable Gramma who wears down Maya’s defenses by making one goofy suggestion after another. “Bathing baby elephants would probably be a bad idea today if you’re grumpy,” she tells Maya, who rolls her eyes in response. “I did have plans to slide down the neck of a giraffe later,” she continues, “but I guess we can reschedule.” The cheerful palette of debut talent Pippin-Mathur’s palette is a force for positivity in itself, combating Maya’s grumpiness with brightly colored watercolor washes. Maya’s hair is basically an extension of her personality, a giant, unruly mass of orange that surges and swirls as she stomps and scowls, but calms down when Gramma finally gets a smile out of Maya. Pippin-Mathur is a mother herself, and one suspects that Gramma’s methodology is grounded in real-life research. Ages 5–7. (May)