Post by Mark T. Locker.
Maude: The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton by Lauren Child. Illustrated by Trisha Krauss.
Maude Shrimpton comes from a large family. And not only is her family large, they all absolutely ADORE being different and standing out. Mother wears outrageous outfits like live peacock hats. Father has an outrageously long, curly mustache. Her siblings all stand out in their own way: beauty, laughter and dance. Maude just kind of blends in. Her family is horrified, and horrified that Maude is okay with it. When her birthday comes around, all she wants is a little goldfish. But that’s not nearly outrageous enough for the Shrimpton family. So they get her a tiger. Perhaps blending in can be better than standing out sometimes.
This beautifully illustrated shout-out to all the kids who like to be low-profile, the wallflowers and the introverts is an unexpected delight with a wickedly funny and unpredictable ending. Lauren Child is perhaps best known for her Charlie and Lola books. If you have read any of these you will know that Lola is anything but a wallflower; her stubborn, imaginative and flighty personality is the opposite of Maude. If you haven’t read Charlie and Lola, you are really missing out.
Maude and her celebration of the quiet child is a refreshing read, though if you are worried about the suggestion of getting eaten by a tiger, then perhaps you should stick with Charlie and Lola.