Maude: The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton
What You Need to Know:|
• Blending in makes Maude seem dull, that is, until a tiger comes to visit! Suddenly, Maude's weakness becomes
• The fate of Maude's family is left to the imagination, but it doesn't look good for them.
• There are some challenging words like eccentric and flamboyant.
• Both the illustrations and the storyline may appeal to a slightly older reader.
• Lauren Child is also the author of the popular Clarice Bean
and Ruby Redfort Series.
Lauren Child's character, Maude, reminds us that sometimes it's OK not to stand out. I know, it sounds crazy amidst the humble brags that are posted, texted, tweeted, and shared endlessly in cyberspace, but it's true. At first glance, Maude seems insignificant in comparison to her outrageous family. They stand out with their incredible looks, extravagant accessories, and impressive talents. She simply disappears into the background - literally and figuratively. While everyone else in her family obsesses over how to get noticed, Maude just doesn't seem to care. Even Maude's parents are so preoccupied with the way they are perceived by the outside world, that they ignore Maude, and when they buy her a tiger instead of a goldfish, they seem to lose sight of reality. Luckily, Maude's "flaws" come to her aid just when she needs them the most, but will her family pay the ultimate price for their vanity?
The illustrations, painted on plywood, are a feast for the eyes. The colors are vibrant, and as the wood shows through, they have the added element of texture. There are interesting details in the illustrations as well as the text, as the type changes to reflect the meaning of certain words. The fun goes beyond just the words, and readers will find some sentences to be in traditional straight lines, while some are angled or occasionally curvy. Of course, the way Maude herself blends into the woodwork, from the wallpaper to the couch, and even the flowers, is always entertaining. Young people, and even young teens, can enjoy Maude and the valuable message that she shares.
2013, 32 pages
Character/Values, Excellent Read Aloud, Exquisite Illustrations, Identity, Individuality
• Why do the Shrimptons (except Maude) like to stand out so much?
• Why do you think that Maude does not like to stand out?
• Which do you prefer - to stand out or to blend in?
• Do you feel pressure from family or friends to be one way or the other?
• Which of the Shrimptons is most like you?
• Is everyone in your family the same? If not, how are you different?
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