A fairy tale picture book of big waves and even bigger courage, inspired by the personal story of professional surfer Maya Gabeira, who smashed records and gender stereotypes.
Young Maya is shy and often feels fragile and scared because of her asthma—except when she’s in the water. It’s the one place where she feels strong. While everyone else in her town is scared of “the Beast,” the giant wave heard all around the world as it crashes into the shoreline, Maya finds the noise comforting, the curves of the wave soothing. If she could only tame it, then everyone could see all the beauty it has to offer. With a pink surfboard and a determined heart, Maya will be the first girl to meet the Beast head-on.
Professional surfer Maya Gabeira, known for surfing Guinness World Record–breaking big waves, shares her story of resilience, defying expectations of women in sports, and daring to achieve the impossible. Beautifully illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki, Maya and the Beast is an empowering reminder that every fear can be conquered, and every Beast can be tamed.
“Both text and illustrations offer a stirring account of Maya’s journey to surfing mastery . . . A rallying cry for anyone looking for a strong example of perseverance.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The frenetic energy of azure waves fill the pages of Kaulitzki’s digital illustrations, which make palpable the ebullience that tan-skinned Maya feels when surfing.” —Publishers Weekly
Maya Gabeira is a Brazilian big-wave surfer best known for setting the 2018 Guinness World Record for biggest wave ever surfed by a woman and then breaking her own record in 2020 with a wave of 73.5 feet, the biggest surfed by anyone—male or female—that year. As an ESPY Award winner and seven-time Red Bull World Surf League Big Wave Awards winner, Gabeira is one of the most influential surfers of all time. She is also passionately committed to and a fierce advocate for restoring the world’s oceans. She lives in Nazaré, Portugal. Ramona Kaulitzki is the illustrator of the #1 New York Times bestseller Sisters First, as well as Wonderful You, Badger’s Perfect Garden, and several other books. She lives in Germany, and her love for animals and nature is a major inspiration for her work.