Maya & Cat

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Caroline Magerl, Maya & Cat, Walker Books Australia, August 2018, 40 pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781921977282

On a roof/as wet as a seal/as grey as a puddle/Cat was rumbling/a rumbly purr.

From this delightful beginning, young Maya embarks on a quest to reunite Cat with its owners. Relying on perseverance and resourcefulness (which sets a great example for young readers), Maya eventually achieves the bitter-sweet reunion. The ending, which may surprise some readers, features a pleasing sense of circularity.

This story about friendship and a child’s simple, unselfish desire to help another being unfolds beautifully. Its careful choice of words and sparing, lyrical language make it a great book to read aloud.

The watercolour and ink illustrations are joyous and full of life (and whiskers). Why are there so many cats frolicking with Maya on the cover? Who knows, but does it really matter? The wide eyed, charismatic moggies, depicted in a style reminding me of Quentin Blake’s work, are simply gorgeous. There are even more on the end pages – some right way up, some upside-down and some even sideways. Fantastic!

Reviewed by Julie Murphy

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