Maya’s Treasure by Laurie Smollett Kutscera
I was fortunate enough to be given an advanced copy of this delightful picture book, and what a lucky lady I am! This book is just gorgeous!
The cover of this book struck my heart straight away. The colours, the texture, the girl’s expression, and who doesn’t remember having a collection of shells, pebbles or even sticks when they are younger and finding them the most precious treasures ever found. The image was instantly relatable and I was dying to see and read more. The language is lyrical, and written in captivating short line stanzas adding to the poetry of the text.
This is Kutscera’s debut as a picture book author and illustrator and she is set to be a star! The soft palette and almost chalky texture of the illustrations works so well alongside the text. It has a dreamlike Van Gogh style to it throughout, that helps paint a mental picture of a real sea breeze, rolling waves and crunchy sand. Children are bound to feel connected to this story instantly through the images alone!
May’s Treasure is a quiet, reflective and thoughtful book, perfect for reading at bedtime. The loss of the grandmother is not upsetting in any way, in fact it is beautifully written and leaves the reader with a sense of love and hope rather than despair. The book is full of other positive messages for its readers too. To find the beauty in something ugly, to hold onto your dreams and to weather any storm.
The story builds beautifully too, I loved the growing tension between the girls and their ideas, as well as the growing storm. It is such a satisfying ending to the story too and one I’d never get tired of reading. The end reflects the beginning so well but with an added sense of success, empowerment and self-realization.
The book speaks of so much but what was extra special was the setting of a rural community where family and tradition take the forefront. I can’t wait to buy this book when it is released in print and read it to my daughter. I highly recommend it to you all too!