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GIFT OF THE MAGPIE by Janeen Mason


by Janeen Mason & illustrated by Janeen Mason

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-58980-861-4
Publisher: Pelican

Regina is a shoe-obsessed magpie. Max is into Regina, a smitten magpie. Max figures if he finds the right shoe, it will seal their fate together. He tenders a flip-flop. “That was funny, Max. What would I do with a shoe?” Ho ho, but no deal. Max next tries an old basketball sneaker. “The silence was deafening.” Regina, mortified, flees. Max, heartbroken, joins another flock. But that winter, in the gloom and cold, Regina takes to the hi-top, a cozy retreat. Come spring and the return of Max—voila, magpies in heaven. Mason has pulled a double out of her hat. The text is uncomplicated but sophisticated and poignant: Of the spurned sneaker, “ ‘It was the biggest shoe in the whole dump,’ he pleaded in a whisper.” And the artwork is an impressive display, as riotously colorful as a bowl of jelly beans, the lush two-page spreads shot through with the trills of the other magpies’ less fetishistic finds: huckleberries, sweet peas, sunflowers and grasshoppers. But they don’t hold a candle to Regina's magpie-enhanced sneaker for two. (Picture book. 5-9)