Maude: The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton

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Not everyone wants to be noticed…

If your child likes a story with a gothic twist then they will revel in the latest from Lauren ChildMaude: The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton.

The Shrimpton family live to be noticed – flamboyant, eccentric and with show-offy skills and talents, they certainly don’t blend into the crowd.

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Except for one Shrimpton – Maude. Maude lives more quietly, is less obtrusive than her siblings and understands the benefits of blending in. When Maude’s birthday come around she asks for a goldfish. Instead of a goldfish she gets a ‘cat’ (who happens to be a tiger) – far more fitting for the Shrimptons. However, with a tiger in the house, the family soon discover that there are benefits to blending in…

“Maude found it quite embarrassing to step out of the house with a tiger in tow. Everyone looked. But all the other Shrimptons simply loved how people stared as they strolled along the boulevard with a giant cat.”

I won’t give away the dark ending to this story but I will tell you that my kids sat in stunned silence!

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The story has a fairytale quality – it’s enough of a good versus evil cautionary tale to set it apart from other picture books.

Maude is illustrated by the incredibly talented Trisha Krauss. Child and Krauss are a perfect author/illustrator match – Krauss’s decorative yet sharp illustrations are spot-on for Child’s descriptive text – Mrs Shrimpton’s big hat has “…a peacock positioned perkily on top of it…”, while Mr Shrimpton’s moustache is “…so long and so twirly butterflies liked to perch on it…”. Needless to say, it gave Krauss full license to create amazing illustrations. Notably, in creating Maude, Krauss painted all of the illustrations onto plywood, giving each a certain texture and depth.

Find Maude: The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton at Book Depository, which delivers free to Australia.

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Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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