cover image MAGIC THINKS BIG


Elisha Cooper, . . HarperCollins/ Greenwillow, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-058164-0

The affable title character of Cooper's (Dance! ) tale not only thinks big, he is big. Sitting in the doorway of his owner's lakeside cottage, this sleepy, rotund feline "contemplates his next move," musing about what he might do—or not do "Should he go in?/ Or out?/ Or should he stay right where he is"). The option of staying inside has its pluses ("Maybe he can convince them to feed him again") and of course he could take a nap, but then again the cat knows that fun awaits outdoors. Perceptive youngsters will suspect that it is Magic's imagination rather than his body that goes into action as the panel and full-bleed watercolors portray him hunting loons, catching a salmon and riding on the back of a swimming moose to an island. In this idyllic setting, he picks berries and eats blueberry pie (and the fish) with a trio of friendly bears. After Cooper's spare, wryly understated illustrations chronicle these alleged adventures, readers flip the page to find the contented cat still sitting lazily by the door. The narrative concludes, "Maybe, if he stays right where he is, Magic's next move will come to him." Cooper's clever use of the hypothetical and his story's fittingly languid tone have decidedly droll results that cat owners especially will appreciate. Ages 3-up. (Apr.)