When a burglar bird goes after the object of his dreams, he learns a valuable lesson.
Magnus Magpie lives on a faraway hill in a lonely tree. By day, he slurps worms and hunts pheasants, and by night he goes out thieving. Magnus has stolen an emerald egg cup, a pinnacle from the Taj Mahal and a shimmering slipper—right off a ballerina's foot. What Magnus wants most of all is the moon, seeing it as the ultimate treasure. One night, he flies higher than he's ever flown before and, exhausted, reaches the moon. But it's not shiny at all; it's dusty and gray and covered with rocks. Magnus begins to cry. Far off in the distance, he spots something shiny and dazzling: It's home! He flies back as fast as he can and makes a beeline for his tree, where he finds a glossy female magpie enjoying a breakfast of beetles. (Readers know she's a female because she has long eyelashes.) All the things Magnus has stolen seem to have lost their sparkle, and he returns them. This leaves more room for his new tree-mate and their hungry magpie baby. Bright colors explode in Slater's illustrations, made in mixed-media collage, which have a slightly three-dimensional effect.The message is presented with a deft touch in this colorful and appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-6)