Maya & Cat
Written and illustrated by Caroline Magerl
Reviewed by Mia Macrossan
A new picture book by local artist and writer Caroline Magerl is always an event. Maya & Cat is a quirky imaginative tale about a girl who sees a cat sitting on a roof opposite her window. When she tries to entice it to come down and it does so only to immediately go up on a roof again. Maya sets out to find cat’s home. She asks various people, travelling through the town on her bicycle until she finally finds out where cat lives. There is a little twist to the ending which is charming, heart-warming and ultimately very satisfying.
This simple story is written in careful rhythmic prose, with great attention to the sounds of words. A picture book is memorable when it combines excellent prose with quality illustrations. Here the allusive prose is complemented by Magerl’s signature delicate artwork. The whole is captivating and gently humourous. The illustrations are wistful and delicate in a style that is original and haunting. Maya does a lot of looking through windows, standing in doorways, all thresholds to imaginative other worlds, all empowering young minds to go beyond the ordinary into challenging other spaces. Young readers will adore the adventures of Maya and her cat. It is one of those books that linger in the memory long after its first reading.
Walker Books 2018 Hardback $24.99 Age 3 + ISBN 9781921977282