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Maya Makes a Mess

Maya Makes a Mess

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By Rutu Modan. Published by Toon Books. 

Softcover, 32 pages, Colour, 2012. 

In the midst of a family dinner with her scolding parents, Maya receives an unexpected invitation to dine with the Queen. Suddenly, her messy manners are put to the ultimate test and she begins to improvise her very own set of rules, with uproarious results.

Filled with humor and exquisitely imagined detail, this book by Eisner Award-winner Rutu Modan is bound to turn every child into a voracious reader.

Rutu Modan is an Israeli illustrator and comic book artist. She is a graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, and former editor of the Hebrew edition of MAD magazine. She, and former MAD colleague Yirmi Pinkus, founded Actus Tragicus, a publishing collective of Israeli comic book artists in 1995. She is also the recipient of multiple artistic awards, including the Israel Museum’s “Young Artist of the Year” (1997) and “Best Illustrated Children’s Book” (1998, 2000, 2002) prizes, the Israel Cultural Excellence Foundation’s designated “Outstanding Artist” (2005), and the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award for her book Exit Wounds in 2008. In 2012, she released Maya Makes a Mess with TOON Books, the first children’s book she both wrote and illustrated. Her most recent comic, "The Property," was released by Drawn and Quarterly in May 2013.

“Ms. Modan’s outlandish story will have kids howling with laughter. The format also can make it easier for many kids to learn to read as the entire story line can be gleaned from the illustrations, with the text providing additional detail.”
--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“The author of Exit Wounds is no stranger to children’s books and she hasn’t lost any of her charm. If anything, her art has become more assured, detailed, and accomplished.”

“There’s such a sense of loopy fun throughout the whole book.”
--Annie and Aunt

“Maya’s table manners are just terrible, so when she’s invited to dine with the queen, there is due cause for concern. When the offerings at the banquet run to such child-unfriendly choices as snail salad, ham jelly, and spinach juice, the frank and confident Maya asks to be provided with pasta and ketchup instead. The queen, rather than being offended, finds Maya’s approach to mealtime charming and, corgi at her side, takes bad dining manners to the outer limits before declaring that all will eat Maya’s way—but only on holidays. Modan’s beautifully expressive clear-line cartoons work well in a story for children, and the story itself has just the right twists for new readers to enjoy and maybe even hazard a chance of predicting. In addition to mealtime scenes, we travel with Maya by airplane to visit the queen, and the number of visual riffs on British ceremony and high etiquette gives much for the reader to explore, along with the accessible text. Another winner from TOON.”

“Modan makes the tale approachable for struggling readers…A fun read with an engaging hero.”
--Publishers Weekly

“In her juvenile sloppiness, Maya reveals some truth, i.e. the facts about what Israeli cartoonist Rutu Modan has been doing, having released the graphic novel Exit Wounds to eruptive acclaim in 2007…Don’t underestimate the Toon Books line.”
--The Comics Journal

“If I…was shopping for someone younger, I’d grab Maya Makes a Mess, a new Toon Book – by Rutu Modan of Exit Wounds fame.”
--The Comics Observer

“A wonderful children’s book…Rather than imparting a lesson, the way many books aimed at kiddies do now and always have, it’s more concerned with a goofy story and the chance to draw people eating with their hands.”
--Paste Magazine

“Modan has crafted a story that builds slowly at first, reaching a crescendo of childhood impropriety that is a laugh riot…. Enjoyable, funny, and deeply satisfying…. I have a feeling that this is going to be on many 'Best of…' lists.”
--Graphic Novel Reader

“The art is very colorful, with simplified designs that work well for this age group…. The book itself is very nice quality hardback with thick pages sturdy enough for young hands.”
--Sequential Tart
“A wonderful premise is gorgeously illustrated.”
--Comics Worth Reading

“I defy you not to be swept up in this very modern, very silly, very delightful fairy tale with a difference.”
--Forbidden Planet International

“Definitely a book your kids will want to read over and over again.”
--Books 4 Your Kids

“Very funny…made me chuckle!”
--A Patchwork of Books

“Ridiculous and hysterical, perfect for messy eaters and those who are forbidden to have their own fun at the table.”
--Shelf Awareness

“Supremely-talented Israeli cartoonist Rutu Modan makes her children’s book debut with this sequential tale that turns manners books on their head.”
--North Adams Transcript

“Another winner from Modan and TOON Books.”
--Read About Comics

“For all of the creative mess-making and clearly genius kids (and some of us adults) out there, I think you’ll find Maya a delightful new friend.”
--Katie’s Korner

“Maya Makes a Mess by Rutu Modan is my favorite new TOON Book. Honestly, though, every new book that TOON publishes is my favorite…[It] is definitely a book your kids will want to read over and over again. ”
--Books 4 Your Kids

“It’s a pure visual joy and has some of Modan’s best-ever cartooning.”

“A great lesson in manners…The illustrations were silly and made the story easy to follow and the text will have readers giggling.”
--A Patchwork of Books

“A hilarious way to send a manners message.”

“If Maya Makes a Mess was nonfiction…then this book would document the greatest achievement in childhood dinner manners in the history of children, dinner, or manners.”
--Help Readers Love Reading

“Whether your children have perfect manners or are crazy at the table, they — and you — will enjoy Maya’s story about learning to be polite.”
--U.S. Kids for Parents & Teachers

“A wild ride of a book.”
--Waking Braincells

“Anyone who’s been chided for table manners will enjoy this tale.”
--Bluestocking Society

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