BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: Maisie’s Scrapbook (available here)
Author: Samuel Narh
Illustrator: Jo Loring-Fisher
Publication Date: February 2019
Most Suitable For: Reception & KS1
Reviewed By: Hilary Nicholl , Trainee Teacher
Maisie’s Scrapbook is a beautiful picture book for younger readers reflecting the deep richness belonging to a multiracial family can bring to a child’s life and experience. Maisie is exceptionally well-loved by both her mother and her father and they bring different cultural experiences to her life because of their different heritages. Maisie does not just get to eat risotto; she gets to eat jollof rice too. She does not just hear the marimba, but also the violin. She enjoys a childhood richly interspersed with imagination, affection and story-telling.
Any young child will enjoy this warm portrayal of happy family life. For many children in multiracial families, it can be a rarer experience to see their lives reflected in the books available to them. There is an underlying theme of what unites us – mama and dada may have different backgrounds but they both hug, praise, nag and love Maisie. What an important lesson for our children to understand that whatever our background, we are loving, feeling, caring humans and our families are important to us.
This book would be lovely to use in schools at any time, but perhaps especially while working on any unit about families. Children may also enjoy recognising the instruments mentioned if they are working on instruments or sound (though it would be a lucky school indeed that had access to a marimba to show them!).
The illustrations are rich, bright, clear and appealing. The drawings which are done as though they are Maisie’s own on the end papers add a warm and quirky touch.
I would recommend this book for young families and lower primary school classrooms.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Hilary for reviewing it.