Maxilla – a picture book (with Giveaway!)

We were invited to review Lianne Ong’s book, Maxilla, the first picture book she has written for children.
The storyline immediately brought me back to the time when we watched our own little caterpillars metamorphosize into beautiful Lacewing Butterflies.

That was such a precious experience, and we had a good time reminisicing about it, as we read through the book, and the stages of a butterfly’s life cycle at the close of the book.

The girls enjoyed the book, and were particularly tickled that it featured a “teacher Katie”. Children simply love it when they spot their ‘namesakes’ in fiction!

The illustrations are by Shing, and carry a Japanese feel. I found the look of the “daddy” especially similar to a typical Japanese salaryman! Reuben, the protagonist, also looked very much like himself in real life, since I caught a glimpse of his photo from their site.

I found the book to be most suited for self-reading by 5-7 year olds, though it can be read to younger children. I did find it a little too wordy for B, who is 3 and prefers to be able to flip the page more quickly to discover more pictures.

She did enjoy pointing out the letters of the title, and was quite proud that she could identify them.

Overall, the storyline is simple, yet captures the reluctance of a child to release a ‘pet’ into the great unknown, well. Will a vulnerable little caterpillar survive in the wild? But without being able to provide the necessary food it needs, it will die even under human protection. Such is the very adult quandary little Reuben finds himself in.

Nonetheless, all’s well that ends well in this true-life story. I suppose this tale serves as a reminder to adults too, that many times, it is not only in controlled environments that those who are dear to us, thrive. It takes a certain wisdom to know when to release them to the purposes that they were made for, and to trust that there is a sovereign and good plan that determines their final destiny.

Published by MPH, the book is available at MPH bookstores, and other good bookshops.

Now would you like to win a copy of this book? Enter below!

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  14 comments for “Maxilla – a picture book (with Giveaway!)

  1. February 24, 2014 at 9:42 am

    3 Little Pigs

  2. February 25, 2014 at 9:01 am

    We are going on a bear hunt.

  3. February 25, 2014 at 10:08 am

    The hungry caterpillar

  4. February 26, 2014 at 1:53 am

    “We are going on a bear hunt” and “Amazing Machines”

    Robert Sim,

  5. February 26, 2014 at 2:42 am

    Goodnight Moon

  6. February 26, 2014 at 3:44 am

    Little Red Riding Hood

  7. February 26, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    The Gruffalo

  8. February 28, 2014 at 2:19 am

    10 apples up on top, by Dr Seuss. Such a fun read, I don’t mind reading it a gazillion times to the kids!

  9. March 1, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Their favourites change as they grow, but currently it’s the My Milk Toof series of Ikle and Lardee. Don’t ask me why they love it so much!!

  10. March 4, 2014 at 12:17 am

    We are going on a bear hunt

  11. March 5, 2014 at 6:17 am

    Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs

  12. March 5, 2014 at 6:22 am


  13. March 6, 2014 at 12:14 am

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar

  14. THC
    March 6, 2014 at 7:09 am

    Goldilock and the three bears

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