Maya is having a bad hair day. Her wild red hair reflects her mood… cantankerous and smoldering. She isn’t sure why she’s in a grumpy mood; she just is. And she wants to make sure everyone around her knows it. She mopes through the house, scowling and grumbling, trying to infect the pet cat, her brothers, and even the birds outside, to no avail. Maya’s bad mood is ignored, which only makes her grumpier.
In a last ditch effort to share her grouchiness, Maya attempts to get a rise out of her grandma. Gramma’s silly comments at first infuriate Maya, but then Maya begins to succumb and eventually resorts to giggling at Gramma’s fantastical suggestions that they spend the day swinging with the monkeys and tickling tarantulas. Gramma fixes Maya’s hair, and off they go to enjoy the day.
I love Pippin-Mathur’s illustrations. She perfectly captures the facial expressions of an obstinate little girl who is determined to have a bad day. It’s clever how she uses Maya’s hair as a symbol of feeling out of control, and then transforms it into cute, fun pigtails as Maya’s mood improves. And all parents can learn a thing or two from Gramma, who remains cool and calm throughout.
Maya Was Grumpy is Pippin-Mathur’s first picture book. It’s an entertaining read for young children, and is sure to bring forth smiles from parents as well. I hope a few Maya sequels are in the works.
Reviewed by Leslie. Review copy provided by Flashlight Press.