Maia and the Very Tall Wall
Authored by Brain Wray
Illustrated by Shiloh Penfield
* Ages: 4-8
* Grade Level: PS-3
* Hardcover: 32 pages
* Publisher: Schiffer Kids
* Pub. Date: September 28, 2020
* Reading Level: 5-8 years
* Language: English
"The story holds a message about STEAM habits of mind, and maintaining one’s curiosity. The illustrations are rendered in slightly muted tones, until they deepen and brighten as Maia climbs the wall and expands her worldview. Penfield plays adeptly with composition and perspective, especially when it comes to the wall. A particularly compelling image shows Maia standing on the wall, watching the blue clouds lift over two sparkling cities on either side.
Maia’s story shines through and presents a positive message of holding on to one’s curiosity and passion."
(School Library Journal)
Unwrapping Some Illustrations for You
Maia is an adorable curious little girl who is full of unlimited questions. If she lays on her bed at night and peers out of her bedroom window she can see a peculiar stone wall that is built across her back yard. Mysteriously each year that she grows the wall stretches taller and taller. As it looms up higher Maia gets shyer and shyer. She closes down, loses her voice and her self-confidence. She fears asking those many questions out loud anymore that she so loved to ask. The biggest question left that she has inside of her is, "What's on the other side of the wall?"
She ponders and tries to imagine what or who she may encounter if she could get over that wall to the other side. She tries many different ways to scale it but all attempts fail.
The longer Maia stays silent the higher the wall grows. One day she realizes that she has to conquer her mute stance and speak up. It is a very difficult thing for her to do but she manages to be brave and asks, "I want to know what's on the other side of this wall!" And then a most surprising thing happens ... the wall speaks back to her. " Me too! said a voice."
Maia discovers using her voice is her key to freedom and happiness! Her life is transformed from being cut off and sequestered to one of openness to the entire world where she can learn new exciting things, meet and encourage new friends to join her on her journey and ultimately find contentment and joy all around her.
The illustrations are extremely well done and very expressive. They enrich the story and make the text come alive.
From the back cover:
"Maia and the Very Tall Wall is very well written and whimsical while delivering a beautiful message of the power of ones voice and self-confidence. Parents of children who are more introverted can use this book to help children face their own walls to enjoy a lifetime of new and sometimes unexpected adventures."
- Dr. Nerissa Bauer, Behaviorla Pediatrician
I highly recommend this book. Thank you to the author Brian Wray for contacting me and sending me a copy to review. It is a pleasure to give your wonderful book a shout out on Storywraps.
Storywraps Rating - 5 HUGS!
Meet the Author
Brian has been writing professionally since 2003, when he was awarded the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting. Brian is also the author of Max's Box and Unraveling Rose, the 2017 Foreword INDIES Gold Winner for Picture Books, Early Reader. Shiloh's previous work includes Boy Zero for Caliber Comics, a guest artist spot on Red Knight published by Dead West Comics, and independent projects. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her calico cat, Maki, who maintains quality control and ensures all pages are delivered on time.
About the Illustrator
Shiloh's previous work includes Boy Zero for Caliber Comics, a guest artist spot on Red Knight published by Dead West Comics, and independent projects. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her calico cat, Maki, who maintains quality control and ensures all pages are delivered on time.
Shiloh's previous work includesnbsp;Boy Zeronbsp;for Caliber Comics, a guest artist spot onnbsp;Red Knightnbsp;published by Dead West Comics, and multiple independent projects. Located in Brooklyn, her calico cat Maki maintains quality control and ensures all pages are delivered on time.
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