Although the title character is Maya, this story is actually about her clever grandmother, who tames both the grumpy child and her chaotic hair.
When Maya wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, she does not know why she is grumpy. “She was just in a crispy, cranky, grumpy, grouchy mood.” Not only that, her hair grows ever more unruly and invasive as Maya spreads her gloom throughout the house. With a smirk and a knowing eye, Gramma begins to untangle the moody mess. “Well then,” says Gramma, “I guess that means no hunting for hippos after breakfast.” Pippin-Mathur’s watercolor-and-ink illustrations capture all of the whimsical and wacky things grumpy people would never do, like bathing baby elephants and tickling tarantulas. With patience and imagination, Gramma’s humorous ideas slowly push away the blues, and Maya’s sweet disposition returns. Delightfully, Gramma keeps her promise, and readers find Maya and her twin brothers playing with hippos, crocodiles, elephants and even tarantulas.
Lighter than Alexander’s bad day and less emotional than Sophie’s, this is still a visual delight from a new author with a charismatic cast of characters. (Picture book. 4-8)