Home > Picture book, Realism > Maia and What Matters by Tine Mortier, Illus Kaatje Vermeire

Maia and What Matters by Tine Mortier, Illus Kaatje Vermeire

December 27, 2013

Maia mattersMaia and What Matters by Tine Mortier, Illus Kaatje Vermeire. Pub. Book Island Ltd, 2013. 

One of the most heartfelt and lovely sophisticated picture books I have read.

It deals as the title says with “what matters”. It is a human relationship story between Maia, a strong willed,  adventurous, cake loving girl and her equally strong willed, adventurous and cake loving grand mother. They do everything together until a fateful day when grandma stumbled and lay on the ground.

Maia can’t understand. She waits by grandma’s bed in hospital. When grandma wakes from the stroke only Maia can tell what she is talking about and thinking.

But then more shattering news hits the family.Grandma is revitalised and with Maia’s help makes an essential journey. More importantly she can say cake again but also goodbye.

The illustrations by Kaatje  Vermeire are perfect. They are like printmaking dominated by browns and greys but with splashes of cherry and pink. Grandma and Maia both wear cherry and pink dresses when all is well but grandma changes after the stroke while Maia continues with cherry and pink.

What is truely special is when grandad explains to Maia about grandma. Not a word is written  as Maia and grandad sit on a park bench, Maia in her cherry dress, head bowed, grandad hatless amongst the browns and dark grey of the trees and backyard where Maia and grandma once frolicked.

Lovely human ending for a very classy picture book. For all ages, don’t miss this one.

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