Social Media: @mayamyersbooks
Full bio (135 words)
Maya Myers writes books for kids. She’s also a freelance book editor, working with both authors and publishers on all sorts of books. In her years as an elementary-school teacher, she taught kindergarten and K-1, as well as K-5 literacy. While her daughters were young, she enjoyed volunteering in the classroom—where some of the best kid stories start. These days, when she’s not wrangling words, she’s probably cooking or digging in the garden while listening to a true-crime podcast.
Maya grew up playing in the woods on the coast of Maine, in a little town that is still almost thirty miles from a stoplight. She attended Duke University and has called North Carolina home ever since. She lives in Charlotte with her husband, author/illustrator Matt Myers, three daughters, seven chickens, and a twenty-three-pound cat.
Condensed bio (50 words)
Maya Myers writes books for kids and edits books for kids and adults. Maya is a former kindergarten teacher who loves cooking, gardening, and (surprise!) reading. Originally from Maine, she now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, author-illustrator Matt Myers, three daughters, seven chickens, and a twenty-three-pound cat.
illustrated by Hyewon Yum
Neal Porter Books / Holiday House
Dot is the smallest person in her family and at school; even her name is small! People often mistake her for being younger than she is, but not when she tells them the square root of sixty-four is eight, nor when she orders from the grown-up menu at restaurants or checks out the hard books at the library. She may be small, but she’s not little. When a new boy named Sam joins Dot’s class, she wonders if he’s even smaller than she is. But when she sees him getting bullied by a mean kid twice his size, she knows she has to do the big thing and stand up for him.
Maya Myers’s debut picture book has a pitch-perfect voice that captures the inimitable Dot in all her fierceness, and Hyewon Yum’s delightful pastel-hued artwork is its perfect complement.
Myers clearly channels her elementary school teaching experience in empathetically creating Dot and Sam’s recognizable exchanges about unfamiliar classrooms and playgrounds, tiptoeing through social dynamics and navigating new relationships. Yum’s enchanting color-pencil illustrations elevate Myers’s text with ingenious visual enhancements.Shelf Awareness (read full STARRED review)
Though she’s the smallest, physically, in her (mixed-race) family and in her (diverse) class, Dot insists: “I’m not little.” Her personality is big, as is her intellect (“I tell them that the square root of sixty-four is eight…Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia…my favorite Mars rover is Curiosity”). When a new, also diminutive kid joins the class, he’s teased at recess and lunch by a “mean kid” (hmm—labels, Dot!). Luckily the plucky protagonist is able to use her big voice, conveyed loud and clear in Myers’s conversational text, to stand up for what’s right. Yum’s art (Saturday Is Swimming Day, rev. 7/18; I Am a Bird, rev. 1/21) features lots of vignettes, some panels, full-pages, and occasional spreads, all with plenty of white space and featuring cute patterns, especially in clothing; Dot’s polka-dotted shirt and pants in contrasting colors are accessorized with a bright-red kerchief, giving her a mini-superhero vibe. The brave—and big-hearted—Dot serves as an easy-to-follow model for self-confidence and up-standing.The Horn Book
Myers describes Dot’s intervention in a second-by-second account, taking careful note of the emotions and sensations that she experiences (“I feel my heart beating very hard”), clearly conveying how it feels to be scared and intervene anyway.Publishers Weekly (read full review)
Sure to be a big hit!Kirkus Reviews (read full review)