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Children's Fiction General

Maya's Big Scene

by (author) Isabelle Arsenault

Initial publish date
Feb 2021
General, Friendship, Girls & Women
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2021
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 8
  • Grade: p to 3


Maya's imagination sets the stage for her friends to act out her feminist play. Can she make room in her queendom for the will of the people? A funny picture book about leadership and fair play for fans of King Baby and Olivia.

Maya is a bossy, burgeoning playwright and loves to have the kids in her Mile End neighborhood bring her scenes to life. Her latest work, about a feminist revolution, is almost ready for public performance. But as her actors begin to express their costume preferences, Maya quickly learns that their visions may not match hers . . . and as both Director and Queen, Maya demands obedience and loyalty in her queendom of equality! But she soon realizes -- with the help of her friends and subjects -- that absolute bossiness corrupts absolutely!

About the author

Isabelle Arsenault is a very talented Quebec illustrator who has won an impressive number of awards and has achieved international recognition. She has illustrated Migrant by Maxine Trottier, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and a finalist for the Governor General’s Award; Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear, winner of the Governor General’s Award; Le coeur de monsieur Gauguin by Marie-Danielle Croteau, winner of the Governor General’s Award; and My Letter to the World and Other Poems by Emily Dickinson, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. She has also illustrated Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean Pendziwol and Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt, forthcoming from Groundwood. Isabelle has won the Grand Prix for illustration (Magazines du Québec) for six years running. She lives with her family in Montreal.

Isabelle Arsenault's profile page


  • Short-listed, Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award

Editorial Reviews

One of CCBC’s Best Books for Kids and Teens, Fall 2021
A 2022 Texas Library Association Little Maverick Graphic Novel Pick

“Simultaneously supports social-emotional growth and celebrates collaborative creativity.” —Kirkus Reviews
"Children need to learn how to get along with one another; the jubilantly performative setting of this inventive book is a perfect expression of that truth.” —Imaginary Elevators
“Arsenault’s playful pencil, watercolour and ink illustrations are a great match for the graphic novel style she uses to tell her stories.” —Globe and Mail

“Montreal’s Arsenault puts her distinctive style to work, using pencils, watercolour and ink to fill various panels and full pages with the story of a little girl who puts on a play with her friends, but who takes her directorial and starring role a little too seriously, threatening to derail the entire production.” —Montreal Gazette

Other titles by Isabelle Arsenault