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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Maya and the Stage Fright, written by Vicky Weber and illustrated by Aleksander Jasinski, is a children's picture book intended to help children recognize what stage fright is and to provide ways to effectively manage it on their own. The book begins with a young girl named Maya who loves to sing. Maya does not need an audience and is perfectly content singing to herself and in her choir. When it is announced that the choir will be giving a live performance, Maya is struck with the anxiety often induced as a result of stage fright, and both she and her choir companions are concerned when Maya is suddenly unable to speak.
Vicky Weber has done well in taking a fear often overlooked in small children and putting it on paper in Maya and the Stage Fright. I was watching a viral video the other day where a choir of children under five was singing and the focus was on one wonderfully enthusiastic child dancing and singing with abandon. However, next to her was another child who was covering her face with her music book. All I could focus on was the terrified child, and in Weber's book, that child would have been Maya. In this case, Maya's teacher validated the fear, explained what it was and how common it is, and then patiently showed her how to overcome it. How I wish the child in the video had had Maya's teacher. The illustrations by Aleksander Jasinski are exceptional and the children are brought to life with a vivid palette of amber and shadowed jewel tones. Overall, this is a book that young readers can enjoy whether they are ready for the stage or simply getting ready for bed.