THE MAGGIE B. by Irene Haas


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It's impossible not to be beguiled when Margaret Barnstable's bedtime wish ""for a ship/ Named after me"" is rewarded by the snug and dreamy Maggie B., its deck covered with a lush tropical garden complete with toucan and its homey cabin furnished in warm shades of rose, orange and blue. Feminists--and those who simply harbor a more expansive notion of what constitutes a good time--will inevitably be disappointed that Margaret's adventure at sea consists almost entirely of cleaning and scrubbing (""with a joyful hustle-bustle""), teaching counting rhymes to her baby brother James, and preparing meals--cooking lobster stew, baking muffins, fixing peaches with cinnamon and honey. Yes, Margaret does weather a storm, but after a minute or two all is ""safe and secure."" The extended idyll might just become suffocating, but Haas' gently precise, sun-drenched watercolors are so full of movement and piquant detail that one happily bathes in the glow of fanciful contentment.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1975
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Atheneum