A wonderful resource for those who work (and play) with young children.

CREATE WITH MAISY

A MAISY FIRST ARTS-AND-CRAFTS BOOK

A beloved children’s-book character explores her creative side and encourages children to get crafty.

Super-simple directions and projects make these crafts a breeze for young children. The materials lists include items that are common household objects (but if you don’t have something, not to worry—Cousins encourages you to substitute something else). This laid-back attitude pervades the entire book, which seems designed for maximum creativity. The photos of Cousins’ finished projects are a standout for their imperfection—childlike, they do not look intimidating to children who cannot replicate the more polished look of adults’ crafts. The 17 projects are ideal for young children—they encourage creative play and can be used as decorations or given as gifts, and most do not require the use of anything more dangerous than the recommended rounded safety scissors. They include a cardboard-box house, tissue-paper flowers, a pencil holder, painted pebbles, paper lanterns, a pasta necklace, colorful cookies (decorating already-made cookies) and a feathery mask. Each project is presented on a two-page spread, with a close-up view of the finished product on one side and directions and materials list on the other. Scattered throughout are Cousins’ gouache illustrations of Maisy at work and play. Bright primary colors and simple backgrounds and details keep the focus on the craft projects.

A wonderful resource for those who work (and play) with young children. (Craft book. 2-8)

Pub Date: July 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6122-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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