Maggie and Wendel: Imagine Everything!

Cori Doerrfeld. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4814-3974-9
Stories about siblings often focus on how they don’t play nicely together—and how the older child usually requires lessons in empathy and patience. But Maggie, who’s an elephant and a big sister to Wendel, has a generous spirit and a handle on her temper, and she should be relatable to readers regardless of their birth order. Dividing the story into three vignettes of pretend play (reality is depicted in distilled, mostly b&w images, while the fantasies are rendered in thrilling color), Doerrfeld (Matilda in the Middle) gives ample proof that Wendell can be an overly exuberant playmate. But when he knocks down Maggie’s tower of building blocks, she quickly recovers her emotional footing and draws him into a game of imagination that lets him be the hero. And when Wendell is a little too picky in his role as a pet shop customer, Maggie fumes a bit but doesn’t blow her top. Doerrfeld sidesteps providing a Big Lesson to focus on the interplay between two vividly drawn personalities and powerful imaginations—and the results are fresh and fun. Ages 4–8. Agent: Rachel Orr, Prospect Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/21/2015
Release date: 03/22/2016
Genre: Children's
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