Crisp, clean design and effective use of white space characterize this cheerful story of an apartment-house feline that starts behaving in a most peculiar manner. Maggie, a delightful tiger cat, endears herself to all the neighbors by paying friendly visits, enjoying a saucer of milk here, a bit of fish there. When Maggie becomes reclusive and resorts to stealing things like a ball of yarn and a sock off the clothesline, everyone notices. She soon disappears for three days, and curiosity gets the better of the neighbors; following Maggie to her attic lair, they discover the reasons--of the tiny, mewing variety--for Maggie's odd behavior. An appealingly diverse cast of various ages and ethnic backgrounds, all seen through uniquely decorated windows, lends a cosmopolitan air to this blithesome tale. Bernhard's use of flat shapes and brilliantly colored patterns creates an environment of uncommon visual intrigue. Ages 3-8. (Oct.)
PreS-K-- Maggie is an orange cat who regularly visits the residents of a large apartment house. When she begins to take soft things--a striped sock, a stuffed bunny, and a ball of yarn--no one knows why. When she stays away for three days everyone is puzzled. Then the children climb to the attic window and see, to their surprise, 10 little Maggies. The final double-page spread shows the contented cat surrounded by her friends as the kittens cavort throughout the building. The short text is simple and direct, and employs a rich variety of verbs. The bright, full-color illustrations complement the text in their simplicity. Big, flat shapes are surrounded by lots of white space. The curling vines at the edges of the pages, Spanish-style architecture, and homey details add interest to the pictures. The apartment dwellers represent all races and ages. Unfortunately, the centers of four double-page spreads are lost in the gutter; otherwise the illustrations are large and clear enough for group sharing. All children, not just cat lovers, will enjoy this satisfying story. --Cynthia K. Richey, Mt. Lebanon Public Library, Pittsburgh, PA
Cats' having kittens is not a new theme in picture books, but Bernhard's distinctive, kid-pleasing art makes it sparkle. Maggie, an orange cat, lives in a sunny apartment building and spends her days stopping at neighbors' windows for fun, friendship, and a good deal of feasting. But one day, Maggie starts grabbing things--yarn, a stuffed bunny, socks--and then she disappears for a few days, much to her friends' dismay. When they follow Maggie up to the attic, they see what she's been up to: there's the cat with 10 kittens. The very simple text works well with the boldly colored, collage-style artwork. The varied shapes, designs, and colors of the apartment building's windows are set against expanses of white, giving the book a fresh, clean look, while the multiethnic building residents are a good supporting cast for the lively feline. A very nice story hour choice.