Elf Reads: Maia and What Matters

 About this book:

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. A beautiful and accessible book about the enduring relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter in the face of illness and aging.
Recommended by our elves because...
  • This book does not shy away from the realities of aging and illness, but it does so in spare language and empathetic dialogue that give readers the space to examine their own feelings about tragedy.
  • Maia is a bright and defiant protagonist, constantly moving and wanting cake. Even when age begins to slow the people around her, she demands action -- a trait that brings both her and her grandmother to the book's final triumphantly quiet moment of closure.
  • Kaatje Vermiere's layered illustrations illuminate the mood of the book in perfect complement to Tine Mortier's prose, from the warm joy of Maia's birth to the suffocating dullness after Grandma's fall. The intricate artwork works to show that even in life's dark moments, splashes of bright colour can exist.
For: Ages 6 and above who love cake, running, and are ready to confront the idea of loss in the future.

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