A feline magician learns there’s magic in manners.
Marigold, a chubby, round-eyed, orange-and-white cat, goes all out for his birthday parties. This year, he’s performing a dazzling magic act. One trick goes awry, though: A bouquet that should vanish becomes a finch! Perfectionist Marigold believes he forgot the magical incantation. Trying again, he’s annoyed when the finch remains; still, the guests cheer. Marigold utters a different spell and two pigeons appear; the audience roars. Next try: three sea gulls. Marigold’s livid, yet everyone howls. This sleight-of-paw thing’s not working, and when his final attempt yields another failure, disconsolate Marigold shrieks for his audience to disappear. Finally, success! Realizing he needs to do something to coax partygoers back, Marigold says the best magic words there are. This works, too: Everyone returns—with some surprise visitors. The lively, energetic watercolors stand out and drive the story well. Marigold is highly expressive, his face and large eyes registering self-satisfaction, bluster, anger, and bewilderment to appealing comical effect; endpapers display accoutrements of the magician’s trade. Many words are capitalized in larger fonts throughout to heighten humorous dramatic tension.
Not truly magical but fun and appealing. (Picture book. 4-7)