I'm so glad I did. For many reasons. The gorgeous cover for a start of course. Also because Maia and What Matters is a book in translation. I do especially enjoy picture books in translation, they have such a different sensibility and feel to our Anglophone creations. They're often amazing books, and really stay with you. Books like The Scar, or Feeling Sad.
Maia and What Matters is an astonishingly beautiful book, from Belgium via New Zealand. Written by Belgian author Tine Mortier and masterfully illustrated by Kaatje Vermeire Maia and What Matters was translated into English by David Colmer, an Australian translator who lives in Amsterdam (since I have been musing on bringing the translator out of the darkness and into the light recently) and published by a new Kiwi publisher Book Island. Book Island is based on the beautiful Kapiti Coast of the North Island of New Zealand and publishes translated children's books- primarily from Dutch it seems, here with assistance by the Flemish Literature Fund.
Maia is an impulsive little sprite- born under a cherry tree in quite a rush.
She has a special bond with her Grandma. They both love cake. It seems cake is one of the things that matters. As is Grandma.
Maia has moments of unadulterated pleasure and joie de vivre, and moments of devastating sadness when her beloved Grandma falls ill and her family is changed forever.
The illustrations are breathtaking. Even the endpapers are special.
|Paris patisserie wrappers!