7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #636: Featuring Caroline Magerl

h1 April 28th, 2019 by jules

“Maya placed a new can of fish in her pocket and set out to find Cat’s home.
Cat followed politely behind.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


There are a lot — truly, a LOT — of picture books in the world about lost animals finding a new home, often with the protagonist of the story, ready and waiting for a new furry friend. That’s what we have (sort of) in Caroline Magerl’s newest picture book, Maya and the Lost Cat (Candlewick) — originally published in Australia in 2018 and on shelves here in the U.S. in early May. This one stands out for the strong writing and Magerl’s distinctive watercolor illustrations.

This is the story of a girl who spots a lost cat on a roof. Cat is “as wet as a seal, as gray as a puddle” and “rumbling a rumbly purr.” The girl, named Maya, grabs a feather boa to lure the cat down from the roof, as well as a pom-pom attached to pink shoelaces. The cat doesn’t budge — not until Maya sets out sardines in a small, open can, which Magerl likens to a boat with a “tiny tin sail.” Cat eventually follows Maya (now wearing her feather boa, as pictured above in my favorite spread from the book) as she attempts to find Cat’s home, which turns out to a be a houseboat. Maya knows she will miss Cat, but a surprise awaits her, thanks to the “sly and gentle” creature she guided home.

Magerl’s writing is spare, precise, and evocative. (“Maya watched [Cat], floating above a thousand lit windows.”) And she knows when to let the art do the heavy lifting with the narrative. No wasted words here. She has a keen sense of composition, and there is an energy to her relaxed lines and dappled watercolors. Let’s let the art speak for itself. Here are a couple more spreads. …


“‘Have you lost a cat?’
‘Probably not.'”

(Click to enlarge spread)


“Cat sprang circus-lion style as Fritz and Irma, beaming and calling,
threw their arms into the air.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


MAYA AND THE LOST CAT. Copyright © 2018 by Caroline Magerl. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA on behalf of Walker Books, Australia.

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) My oldest daughter’s original chimera plush doll! (She hand-sewed a chimera for a state-wide Latin convention she attended.)

2) Colin, the energy vampire, in What We Do in the Shadows (which is a very funny television adaptation of the very funny 2014 film):



3) Lucy Dacus’s new song, from one Taurean to another:



4) Andrew Bird’s “Manifest”:



5) Pre-ordering this album on vinyl, which was originally released in 2003. “Tomorrow on the Runway” is one of my favorite songs ever.

6) Finding out that Dave Rawlings Machine’s Nashville Obsolete will also be released on vinyl soon. A PERFECT ALBUM.

7) Last but not least, I always love to see Caroline Magerl’s watercolors.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

14 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #636: Featuring Caroline Magerl”

  1. Greetings from NM. Here with college friends. My kicks 1-7 are the ti.e with them, everything Georgia O’Keeffe, seeing my HS English teacher, and revisiting college stomping grounds(I spent a term innorthern NM). Hope you all have a great week.

  2. Enjoy, Jone! I saw your photo with your teacher on Instagram, I think it was, which was wonderful to see. Safe and happy travels!

  3. Yay for finding and saving the cat! Hi Caroline! Hi Imps!

    Jules: Tell your daughter I said congrats! Thanks for the music.

    Jone: Glad you are having fun!

    1) Music
    2) Research
    3) Notes
    4) Plans
    5) Goals
    6) Stance
    7) Sane

  4. LW: I will! I like your first kick, needless to say. Have a great week!

  5. These watercolors are amazing. that first spread of Cat on the roof reminded me of Rooftoppers a bit.

    Jules – congrats to the oldest girl on her chimera. Looking forward to checking out the music links later, and love that energy vampire clip. What We Do In the Shadows is one of my all time faves.

    Jone – so glad you are having fun! I miss Santa Fe and your photos are reminding of how beautiful NM is.

    LW – music, research and goals are resonating strongly with me today, great kicks.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Sunshine today and yesterday.
    2) Finishing a motion that needed to be done.
    3) Nearing the end of a work project.
    4) Having a quiet weekend to myself (with Daisy, too of course).
    5) Giving myself permission to say no.
    6) Spring blooms.
    7) GoT tonight.
    7.5) Warmer sunnier weather. It always helps make my outlook sunnier after the long, drizzly winters here.

    Have a wonderful week, Imps!

  6. Rachel, glad you had a quiet weekend and that Daisy is still doing well. DID YOU SEE GoT? !!!! EEEEEEEEE! MY GIRL!

  7. Jukes – I was pacing my living room for the last 40 minutes of the episode and had to keep reassuring myself they couldn’t possibly let the NK win since there are 3 more episodes left. I SCREAMED I WAS EXCITED FOR HER!!! And it made perfect sense. My killed-off-too-early male favorite Oberyn Martell summed it up:


    Also, I love that so many people today asked if I saw it and wanted to talk about Arya.

  8. AARRRGGHHH!! Typing too fast on the laptop. JULES!!! not Jukes. and I WAS SO EXCITED FOR HER!!!

  9. Rachel, I am laughing, because you don’t know how often I inadvertently type “Jukes” when I’m sending an email on my phone. It happens so often that I told someone the other day I’d just change my name to that.

    Oberyn got it right! I’ve been walking around the house singing a new song I wrote about how into every generation a slayer is born. I know, I know. That’s Buffy, but Arya SLAYS. My girls are intrigued by my enthusiasm, but I won’t tell them why I’m so excited in case they ever watch one day (though they’ve always known how much I love Arya). I hope they go back and perhaps show us how she managed to get all Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon on the Night King’s ass, though it doesn’t surprise me AT ALL.


  10. HaHa! I’ve loved Arya since ep 1 when she was a better shot than Bran w/ bow and arrows, and when Jon gave her Needle. So many of the women I talked to yesterday, especially younger ones (to me, in their 20s & 30s) were mentioning how much they loved her and were so excited for younger generations to have her for a role model. Her character arc has truly paid off (and I hated watching her suffer when she was studying to be a girls with no name.)

    I also really loved that the Hound couldn’t rally for himself but could rally for Arya.

    Carole Danvers in Captain Marvel has a similar vibe, and I am trying not to get too excited about the new His Dark Materials series with LMM, but really hoping they get Lyra’s similar determined badass vibe right in that too.

    Hooray for badass young women! And especially for badass Arya this week!

    I LOVED all the callbacks in this ep too, including the 1st ep this season when she snuck up on Jon in the (maybe same spot?) in the Godswood.

  11. Yes to all the callbacks! I read about a series of those yesterday in a piece somewhere online. Amazing.

    Speaking of that rallying-for-Arya that the Hound did and all the clues in the show, did you notice this? — https://twitter.com/DraydonWerra/status/1122912552692875265

    And LYRA! Yes, pleeeeease get that right! I do love Lyra.

  12. YES!!! It was just so good.

  13. Starting a 6-day sponsored writing residency for children’s book writers in Amherst, MA and meeting up with kindred spirits. Heaven.

  14. Evelyn: Lovely!

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