This year, they're offering a debut children's book from an experienced graphic novelist, Rutu Modan. She addresses a common childhood complaint; parents who think their children are messy eaters! Maya is certainly a messy eater, but nobody expects what happens next: An invitation to dine with the queen! Of course, food messiness ensues and all ends well, with Maya triumphant.
Modan's art is intensely detailed. Every facial expression and fancy dish is sharply delineated. The characters and focal points of the scenes stand out in sharp color against the faded, almost dream-like backgrounds. Closer inspection shows sometimes detailed, sometimes vague interiors but the eye is immediately drawn to the forefront of the art by the color and lines.
If you like messy eating and want to try for your own copy of Maya Makes a Mess, enter a picture for the Messy Eater Contest!
Verdict: This is a level two comic and the language is suited to emergent readers, although the busy art may be a little distracting from the simple speech bubbles. While this isn't a particular favorite of mine, children who like the absurd will find this one hilarious.
ISBN: 9781935179177; Published August 14 by Candlewick/Toon; Review copy provided by publisher; Purchased for the library