Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree by John Bray

Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A young girl’s dreams come true in this imaginative debut children’s book.

Maggie is your typical 7-and-3/4-year old. She’s nearly three inches “taller than average,” which she loves, and she enjoys exploring, using her “jump rope as a lasso,” and mixing various items together—from different kinds of socks to potatoes and peas. One day, she mixes up something that’s just a little bit out of the ordinary: a combination of water, sugar, pink lemonade, and a few other ordinary ingredients. She spills this concoction on a tree in the backyard before she can dump it into her favorite red bucket and, disappointed, heads off to bed. That night, Maggie awakes to a crackling sound and rises to find that her tree is now completely covered in colorful, sweet sprinkles. She collects them in buckets, cups, and jars, plays with them, and eats them until she nearly gets sick. When she wakes the next morning, though, the sprinkles are gone. Or are they? A small, fuzzy squirrel in the backyard may indicate otherwise. Bray’s delightful debut children’s book is appropriate for kids and adults of all ages, and it’s sure to brighten many bedtime rituals. Maggie is a darling, precocious character (without being too much so), and her ingenuity is remarkable. Her story is also relatable—what child doesn’t like to mix up mud pies and play outside all day? The text includes a recipe for the potion that created the sprinkle tree, and young readers may want to mix it up for themselves. They may be disappointed when a sprinkle tree doesn’t result, but industrious parents can surely figure out a way to make some magic of their own. Jackson’s illustrations are wildly imaginative and vivid, and they bring Maggie’s tale, including her amazing botanical creation, to life. Arrows and text that highlight specific portions of the illustrations are a fun touch, and they make each page engaging and enjoyable. Bray and Jackson are a dazzling duo, and additional books in this series would surely be welcome.

A lovely, imaginative tale for the young and young at heart.

Pub Date: Feb. 26th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0991396207
Page count: 36pp
Publisher: Tumbling Acorn Publishing
Program: Kirkus Indie
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