CBCA Notable 2019
NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2019 shortlist
Maya and Cat reviewsThe Times UK Magerl’s illustrations look like the offspring of Maurice Sendak and Ronald Searle. This delicious and lyrical picturebook … Nicolette Jones _____________________________________________________ Storylinksau Maya & Cat A new picture book by local artist and writer Caroline Magerl is always an event. Maya & Catis 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. Mia Macrossan _____________________________________________________ Red Reading Maya & Cat I’m not sure whether it’s the words or pictures of Caroline Magerl’s moggy story that I love better; both are absolute delight. Through gorgeous poetic language and wonderfully whimsical watercolour and ink illustrations, the author/illustrator conveys the tale of Maya and what happens then she hears Cat ‘rumbling a rumbly purr’ out on the wet roof and decides it needs rescuing. Having lured it down with a fishy treat, with Cat following behind her, she sets out to discover the whereabouts of its home. Jill R Bennett _____________________________________________________ Rebecca Newman Favourite picture book read in the last 6 months Maya and Cat by Caroline Magerl A gentle story with divine illustrations. The text is like poetry and there are themes of friendship and resilience. This book is good for your soul. ______________________________________________________ The Bottom Shelf http://thebottomshelf.edublogs.org/2018/08/03/ On a roof, as wet as a seal, as grey as a puddle, Cat was rumbling, a rumbly purr. Through the window from the warmth of her bedroom, Maya spots Cat and tries to entice her inside, safe from the wet and wild outdoors. But feather boas, pink shoelaces and a pompom on a stick are not what Cat wants. And although a can of sardines placed at the back door brings her hungry tummy down, Cat returns to her perch on the roof, wet and forlorn. Determined that one of the windows shining its warm light on the bleakness, Maya is determined to find Cat’s home but every door she knocks on is not the one. Until she finds Cat in her bicycle basket as though it is saying, “Let me show you…” This is a stunning story of a little girl’s determination to help reunite a pet with its owners and the beautiful reward she is offered. The heartache of separation for both humans and pets is a familiar one as anyone with a Facebook feed would know and so it will resonate with so many readers, adult and child alike. The language is poetic, the ink and watercolour illustrations are exquisite with the one where Maya is cycling along the jetty taking me straight back to my 1950s childhood favourites in Edward Ardizzone’s series about Tim. Having seen hundreds of thousands of illustrations over my time as a teacher, one that instantly brings back such warm memories means the book is an instant winner for me! The subtlety of the palette, the blend of colours, the intricacy of the linework, the detail in every illustration not only bring the words to life but offer so much to see as it is read again and again, providing a stark contrast to the bright, bold computer-generated works that our students are so familiar with. This is a series of lessons about visual literacy and the need to look deep within, the purpose of picture books and the connections between text and graphics, author, illustrator and reader all wrapped up in one engaging, enthralling story. This is more than just a story about a girl and a lost cat – it’s a celebration of words and pictures that is likely to become an enduring childhood memory for many. Barbara Braxton
______________________________________________Losang Zopa https://losangzopa.wordpress.com/2018/08/04/maya-cat-caroline-magerl/ Throughout our college and certainly in my library at present we are having a great focus on kindness and empathy. With my little people I am using a range of picture books which offer this theme that also feature animals as this meshes with their classroom unit. Author/illustrator Caroline Magerl’s new picture book, launched this week, is a perfect fit for this very unit with its themes of resilience and friendship along with the very essence of kindness. Maya follows her empathic instincts to coax Cat down from on high and thereafter tries to find her rightful home. When she does so, her sadness at leaving Cat with her own family is assuaged by an unexpected surprise, one which fills her with absolute delight. This text features some absolutely scrumptious figurative language which would be inspirational for encouraging children to attempt their own evocative writing. “On a roof, wet as a seal, grey as a puddle, Cat was rumbling a rumbly purr.” The stunning artwork perfectly captures the mood of the text and the endpapers are just sensational! (My kidlets all know about my predilection for gorgeous endpapers!) If you are searching for more wonderful books that will assist with growing empathy in children, this will make a super addition to your collection. I highly recommend it to you for readers from around Prep upwards. Sue Warren
______________________________________________Kids Book Review http://www.kids-bookreview.com/2018/08/review-maya-and-cat.html From the moment I opened the cover and saw an array of gorgeous cats staring at me on the end papers, I knew I would like this book. When Maya sees a cat out in the rain, on a roof, as wet as a seal, as grey as a puddle, she decides to rescue it. Maya attempts to entice Cat down from the roof, out of the rain, with a feather boa, a shoe lace and even a can of sardines. Cat eventually comes down and Maya attempts to help Cat find his home. Maya and Cat is a delightful story about a girl who is determined to help a lost cat find his home and is then rewarded with a wonderful surprise…but I won’t spoil the surprise. You’ll have to read it for yourself. Caroline Magerl’s illustrations are full of character. I adore her style and children will love the detail on each page. The simple use of onomatopoeia throughout the story will also be a hit with young children as they read along with the story. There is so much to love about this book. Maya and Cat is a gorgeous book and highly recommended for anyone who has ever cared for a cat, or any animal for that matter. Coral Vass
______________________________________________Books and Publishing https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2018/05/31/108600/maya-and-cat-caroline-magerl-walker-books/ Caroline Magerl has a very distinctive style of illustration and this book does not disappoint. It’s full of cats. ‘On a roof, as wet as a seal, as grey as a puddle, Cat was rumbling, a rumbly purr.’ Looking out the window at the rain, Maya discovers Cat on a neighbouring rooftop. She tries to coax him in, with toys that might appeal and food. But Cat is aloof and refuses to respond to these overtures of friendship. When Maya puts a new tin of cat food in her pocket, Cat follows her, and the two set out to find Cat’s home, visiting several unlikely places. The journey through the town, with Maya giving Cat a lift on her bicycle, takes them through streets, a park and finally to the seashore. It’s raining for most of the book and Magerl’s illustrations are evocative and reflect the mood. The palette is soft and atmospheric. The simple text, set out clearly in large type, is poetic and rhythmic and the endpapers feature a crowd of cats who look curious and appealing. This satisfying and charming read is recommended to share with young readers aged five and up. Margaret Hamilton
______________________________________________Readings Bookshop Review https://www.readings.com.au/products/25125318/maya-and-cat In exquisite poetic language, author and illustrator Caroline Magerl tells the story of a girl who finds a shivering wet stray cat on the roof, befriends it with sardines and then kindly tries to find where it belongs. Maya visits many homes that feature rabbits, dogs and other cats in their multitudes while Cat looks on somewhat perplexed. Cat eventually leads the way and Maya is given a wonderful surprise when she finally discovers Cat’s true home. Maya is a quirky character trailing her feather boa and wearing a hat that looks remarkably like the ears of Cat. The ink and watercolour drawings are just beautiful and the faces on the characters so expressive and humorous. This is a delightful picture book for all animal lovers that will be pored over by children aged three and up. Angela Crocombe.
______________________________________________Boomerang Books https://blog.boomerangbooks.com.au/big-cats-and-small-cats-picture-book-reviews/2018/07 The gentlest of the lot, Maya and Cat is evocative, heartwarming and heavenly. Caroline Magerl transcends beyond beauty with her poetic language and mesmerisingly enchanting illustrations in amongst a gripping tale of friendship, responsibility and trust. The fine line and watercolour paintings in a style so charismatic aptly portray the dramatic moodiness and intense atmosphere of a lost cat drenched with rain and anguish. It is with her determination and good will that Maya searches for its rightful owners. Long, yellow scarf blazing behind her, Maya eventually follows Cat’s nose to an unexpected fate; where a long, yellow windsock atop a rocky boat leads Cat home and Maya a treasured reward. Intriguing, beguiling and warming for the cockles of your heart, this loveable tale between Maya and Cat will be welcomed into your home with an outpouring of love and affection many times over. Beautiful for ages four and up. Romi Sharp
______________________________________________Word Press https://booksellersnz.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/book-review-maya-cat-by-caroline-magrel/ Cat does not want feather boas, nor pink shoelaces or a pompom on a stick and although she ate every oily silver morsel of fish, Cat is searching for something much more precious. So Maya sets out with Cat in tow to knock on doors to see if one holds what Cat is seeking. Maya & Cat is a heart-warming story that follows a little girl and a cat as they seek out the thing that Cat is missing most and the thing that Maya discovers she is missing too; companionship. A perfect story to read together; young children will enjoy the gentle, poetic language. Caroline Magrel’s adorably quirky watercolour illustrations take us through the wet and gloomy, lamp-lit streets of a seaside town. They leave you with that sense of peace and tranquility you feel when you’re warm and cosy indoors while a storm rages outside your windows. This unique feel-good picture book written and illustrated by Caroline Magrel would make a wonderful addition to any young child’s bookshelf. Maya & Cat makes for a pleasant and comforting read – the perfect bed time story! Alana Bird
______________________________________________One More Page Podcast https://www.onemorepagepodcast.com/episode-12/ Liz got all excited about Maya and Cat by Caroline Magerl and published by Walker Books Australia . She even picked it as a possible award contender for next year! Liz Ledden
______________________________________________Pass it On https://jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com/pass-it-on/jackies-quick-picture-book-overview/ This is the story of a little girl who helps a lost cat find her way home. This is exquisitely done – Mageral’s poetic text and stunning illustrations are absolutely delightful to read and gaze upon. And wait for the surprise at the end. Just lovely. Jackie Hosking
______________________________________________Good Reads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40732381-maya-cat?ac=1&from_search=true Elegant, whimsical and sweet—Caroline Magerl achieves the trifecta of picture book perfection through a simple story with her lush illustrations. The story – Maya finds Cat. Or perhaps Cat finds Maya. They share a quietly quirky adventure that seems fated to end sadly. The art – Gorgeous watercolour and pen drawings convey movement, emotion and potentiality. For me, there are faint echoes of Sendak but with more whimsy and elegance and a brighter palette. In sum, it’s a joy to read and a treasure to hold. Alison Stegert
______________________________________________Read Plus https://www.readplus.com.au/blog_detail.php?id=9058 Highly Recommended. This beautifully presented story of reciprocal love and friendship will resonate with readers as they see Maya struggling to take a cat back to its rightful home. On a wet and windy night, Maya spies the cat sitting on the roof opposite her house. It is very wet and bedraggled, and nothing she can do to attracts its attention works. She flutters her boa at it, throws out her pompom on string and even her pink shoelaces. But when she opens a can of fish and floats it off in the rain, the cat eagerly eats it up. Maya then leads the cat around a number of houses in her suburb, and although she stops at some interesting places, she cannot find its owner. But placed in the basket on her bike, she leads Maya back home, where a surprise waits in store. This compassionate story of the love between a child and a stray cat, of Maya looking out for a lost animal she spies on the roof, of going to some lengths to help it back home, will speak volumes to children as they may look further at the plight of many lost people around the world, waiting for someone to care. The brilliant watercolour illustrations depicting an array of cats throughout the story but particularly on the endpapers, will delight and enthrall all readers as they pore over the pages. The wet and wintry conditions add a deeper level of concern and urgency to Maya’s quest. What she finds at the end of the pier is simply charming, and readers will inspect the house and its occupants with glee. Australian freelance illustrator, Magerl has illustrated stories for others, and Maya and cat, both written and illustrated by her is a wonderful nuanced story full of levels of meaning for readers to ponder. The illustrations are designed to draw the reader into the reality of the weather and its effects, the swirling leaves, the driving rain, the tossing seas making each page sing with movement. Fran Knight
______________________________________________Booksellers New Zealand https://booksellersnz.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/book-review-maya-cat-by-caroline-magrel/ Cat does not want feather boas, nor pink shoelaces or a pompom on a stick and although she ate every oily silver morsel of fish, Cat is searching for something much more precious. So Maya sets out with Cat in tow to knock on doors to see if one holds what Cat is seeking. Maya & Cat is a heart-warming story that follows a little girl and a cat as they seek out the thing that Cat is missing most and the thing that Maya discovers she is missing too; companionship. A perfect story to read together; young children will enjoy the gentle, poetic language. Caroline Magrel’s adorably quirky watercolour illustrations take us through the wet and gloomy, lamp-lit streets of a seaside town. They leave you with that sense of peace and tranquility you feel when you’re warm and cosy indoors while a storm rages outside your windows. This unique feel-good picture book written and illustrated by Caroline Magrel would make a wonderful addition to any young child’s bookshelf. Maya & Cat makes for a pleasant and comforting read – the perfect bed time story! Alana Bird
______________________________________________One More Page https://www.onemorepagepodcast.com/episode-12/ Starts at 26:00 Liz Ledden
______________________________________________My Child Magazine http://www.mychildmagazine.com.au/book-reviews-august-2018/ Maya lures a lost cat off a nearby roof, and sets about trying to find its home. After door-knocking unsuccessfully around her neighbourhood, Maya and Cat cycle through town until they finally find Cat’s quirky owners. As Maya prepares to say a sad farewell to her new furry friend, Cat gives her a gift to ensure she never forgets their adventure. This is a beautifully illustrated tale of friendship and determination, for cat-lovers aged 3-7.
______________________________________________The golden adventures of a very dark horse. http://verydarkhorse.blogspot.com/ Maya & Cat is a pretty nice accompaniment to We’re Getting a Cat, though this one is all fantasy. The ink and watercolour illustrations are evocative (especially the wild, grey ocean and sweet little house boat < LOVE). This is the ultimate cosy tale. A story of courage and friendship, set in a wild and stormy cityscape. Expressive and moody illustrations, gorgeous poetic language, and an ending that is just too sweet. Stella
______________________________________________Blog of Dad http://blogofdad.com/august-2018-picture-book-roundup/
Presenting at the beautiful Mazza Museum surrounded by illustrations and very grateful for the large attendance!
Dan standing in front of the 10,000 plus works in the vault.
Dan, myself and Ben
ExploringI took some time off to stroll through a local park and came upon a wildlife information center. It was a beautiful building and I quickly noticed a lady seated quietly in front of a large window facing the forest. She was one of the staff counting the various birds which came to the feeders outside. I walked up to the window and was delighted to see the blue jays and red cardinals amongst the bare branches.
Romi Sharp is a primary teacher, children’s writer, picture book reviewer, blogger, mother of two young girls… and a child at heart! So being surrounded by a world of kids’ books feels perfectly natural. She enjoys networking with professionals, sharing ideas and learning about current trends in education and the literary industry. Romi is passionate about sparking children’s creativity and global awareness through a range of learning experiences