Maude The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton

Overview

Lauren Child teams up with a debut illustrator to tell a cautionary tale about the surprising perils of craving constant attention.

Meet the Shrimpton family — so talented, so eccentric, so larger than life, you couldn’t miss them if you wanted to. Mrs. Shrimpton wears flamboyant hats, and Mr. Shrimpton’s moustache makes quite a statement. The youngsters each have a stand-out quality: beauty, dancing, singing, a sense of humor that’s a laugh a minute. Indeed, the Shrimptons live...

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Overview

Lauren Child teams up with a debut illustrator to tell a cautionary tale about the surprising perils of craving constant attention.

Meet the Shrimpton family — so talented, so eccentric, so larger than life, you couldn’t miss them if you wanted to. Mrs. Shrimpton wears flamboyant hats, and Mr. Shrimpton’s moustache makes quite a statement. The youngsters each have a stand-out quality: beauty, dancing, singing, a sense of humor that’s a laugh a minute. Indeed, the Shrimptons live to be noticed — all that is, except Maude, who prefers to blend into the wallpaper. But when Maude receives a ferocious tiger for her birthday instead of the goldfish she asked for, might her talent for blending in come in handy? With stylized artwork evoking both Vogue magazine and Edward Gorey, here is a story to bring a smile to all the quiet stars among us.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In an age of Instagrammed selfies, live-tweeted dinners, and reality shows for everyone, the Shrimpton family embodies the idea of personal celebrity. Readers first see them in a framed photograph, as they ensure their best sides are showing while jostling each other for prominence. Mrs. Shrimpton favors extraordinary hats (“Her latest had a live peacock positioned perkily on top”), her husband has a dramatic mustache, and three of their four children are talented and/or beautiful. Middle daughter Maude is the exception—she literally blends in with the scenery. There are many stories about being true to oneself, and (unlike Maude) this one stands out, for both its stylishness and its gleefully wicked ending. Because when Maude requests a goldfish for her birthday and gets a tiger instead, her family forgets one detail about tigers: “They do get very hungry.” And when they do, it’s best not to be wearing tap shoes or a peacock. Child’s razor-sharp humor is in top form, and it’s also a highly auspicious debut for Krauss, whose chic Wes Anderson meets New York Fashion Week aesthetic is as memorable as the Shrimptons themselves. Ages 5–8. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
Child’s razor-sharp humor is in top form, and it’s also a highly auspicious debut for Krauss, whose chic Wes Anderson meets New York Fashion Week aesthetic is as memorable as the Shrimptons themselves.
—Publishers Weekly
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
The Shrimpton family is determined to be noticed. Mrs. S. creates flamboyant hats. Mr. S.'s mustache is incredibly long and curly. Daughter Penelope is "exceedingly beautiful." Brother Hector is a mesmerizing tap-dancer. Sister Constance is voice is like music. And brother Wardo is "a laugh a minute." Only sister Maude seems to choose to fade into the background, "to merge, to fade, to disappear." When she requests just a goldfish for her birthday, the flamboyant family chooses instead a giant tiger, sure to be noticed. The amusing surprise ending seems only fair. The stylized illustrations depict the family really standing out, except for Maude, for whom we have to search. Only her face stands out at all. The variations in typeface make the text stand out as well. On the end pages are crisp architectural urban drawings, black outline on gray, totally without humans, suggesting the artificiality of the family. Note the contrasting jacket and cover. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
09/01/2013
PreS-Gr 2—The flamboyant Shrimptons hate being overlooked, but that's what usually happens to Maude, the only not-so-noticeable family member. Her mother's extravagant hats and her father's long, twisty mustache garner lots of attention. Her exceedingly beautiful and mesmerizingly talented siblings are always noticed. Having asked for a goldfish for her birthday, Maude is dismayed to discover that her request is deemed too mundane, and she is given a tiger instead. Maude is alone in her embarrassment at being seen out with a tiger in tow. The rest of the family relishes the stares they get from passersby. The thing about tigers, though, is that they have a pretty ferocious appetite, and when the Shrimptons run out of tiger food, their efforts to suddenly become inconspicuous aren't very successful. Maude discovers that she may have the most valuable asset in the family after all. This cautionary tale is full of humor (if slightly dark at times) and would greatly enhance a language-arts lesson on descriptive writing. The clever, full-color, full-bleed illustrations incorporate a variety of highly noticeable patterns and text fonts. Maude blends into them well, and discovering where she is in any given picture adds to the fun of the book.—Sara-Jo Lupo Sites, George F. Johnson Memorial Library, Endicott, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Maude Shrimpton's father's mustache is so long and twirly it harbors butterflies. Her mother wears live peacocks on her head. Maude, however, is more of a blender. Indeed, milquetoast Maude disappears in the shadow of her flamboyant family. Her sister Constance has a voice like music: "An ‘um' or an ‘ah' from her could get all the birds in the trees a-twitter." Wardo is "a laugh a minute," Penelope is traffic-stoppingly beautiful, and Hector is "toe-tappingly mesmerizing." Maude is so quiet even dogs can't hear her, and, in debut illustrator Krauss' stylish, stylized spreads, the girl literally blends into the wallpaper, crosswalk or couch. In the end, it's visually implied that a tiger eats the entire Shrimpton family--and it's only Maude's natural invisibility that keeps her safe. What does this finale say? That the meek shall inherit the Earth? Is this a revenge fantasy? Maude's last-page smile is hard to decipher, as there are few previous hints as to her character. While the text and even typefaces attempt to be lively, the use of language is flat and familiar. David Lucas' lovely Halibut Jackson (2010) offers a less calamitous take on a boy who blends into the background. Up with the lowly, down with the showy! The meek prevail in this energetic but lackluster picture book by the creator of the beloved British Charlie and Lola series. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763665159
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/6/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 800,433
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Lauren Child has published many best-selling and award-winning books, including the hugely popular Charlie and Lola and Clarice Bean series, as well as, more recently, the Ruby Redfort series. She has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal. Lauren Child lives in London.

Trisha Krauss spent sixteen years working in New York for magazines and advertising agencies. Her work has been exhibited in New York and Rome. Maude the Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton is her first picture book. Trisha Krauss now lives and works as an illustrator in London.

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