It’s always exciting to read a book that a friend has written, so when Maxilla arrived in my mailbox, I couldn’t wait to read it with Wee Reader.
Maxilla is a heartwarming picture book written by Lianne Ong and illustrated by Shing about Lianne’s son Reuben and his real-life adventure of finding a caterpillar in his school garden and bringing it home as a pet.
Wee Reader and I are reading longer stories these days so he was quite absorbed in the story. It had a great message about appreciating nature and wildlife, and how creatures even as small as a caterpillar should be allowed to live free as they are meant to be. And such charming illustrations! I especially liked how Reuben and his mum went to the library, and to the Junior Museum – which we’ve been to several times – to check out its insect exhibits in order to find out what type of butterfly it would turn into. And the little note at the end of the story explaining a caterpillar’s life cycle. Unfortunately Wee Reader could not remember meeting and playing with Reuben – Reuben and his family used to live in the Bay Area, but returned to Singapore more than a year ago.
When we finished reading Maxilla together, Wee Reader said, “Mummy read again!”. Perhaps the best praise any kid could give a book.
I received a copy from the publisher for an honest review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lianne Ong is a freelance writer who writes primarily about parenting, education and fashion. Maxilla was written based on events that happened when her family was living in California. She now lives in Singapore with her husband and two children, Reuben and Phoebe.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Shing is an artist who studied at Musashino Art University in Tokyo. Her sculptures and paintings adorn many corporate buildings in Singapore and her work has appeared in exhibitions throughout Asia. She was nominated for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize in 2012. She lives in Fukuoka and is the mother of two boys, Yuuri and Rui.