Monday, July 31, 2017

"Princess Pistachio and Maurice the Magnificent" - a bookwrap


"Princess Pistachio and Maurice the Magnificent"

Created by Marie-Louise Gay

Ages: 5-8
Grades: 1-3

Unwrapping some fabulous illustrations for you to peek at

About the book

This is the third book in the Princess Pistachio series.  It is a wonderful little chapter book with very endearing illustrations starring the Princess and her dog, Dog.  Yep, you heard me right, her dog's name is Dog.

Pistachio observes that Dog just sleeps and sleeps and sleeps and she finally comes to the conclusion that he must be bored and he needs to live his life with his eyes open, not closed. 

"Poor Dog. He needs adventure and excitement in his life."

 She volunteers to take him for a walk...  dog just rolls over.  She suggests they should play ball.  Dog grunts, sighs, snorts...  no he's not one bit interested. 

"Things have got to change around here, she thinks.  Dog will die of boredom."

Pistachio now has a mission.  She vows to get him engaged in something exciting and the sooner the better.  She offers him up as her Show-and-Tell mascot but that is a total flop.  Mr. Grumblebrain is not amused that she brought him to school and dumped him on his desk. 

"Get that hairy beast off of my desk!" yells Mr. Grumblebrain.  "NOW!" "
"Pistachio, her face as red as a tomato, stuffs Dog back in her schoolbag, and, head held high, walks to her desk.  She sits and stares straight ahead, wishing she were invisible. Or instantly transported to a desert island. Or both."

Oh my! Will Pistachio give it up? NO!!! NEVER!!! 

A few days later she spots a sign hanging in a bookstore window advertising an audition for a "talented, intelligent, beautiful dog."  Dog is the perfect candidate.  All the other dogs auditioning are super talented and of course Dog's claim to fame is ... well... sleeping.  As fate would have it that is exactly what the director of the play is looking for and Dog becomes an instant star.  

"We are looking for a dog to play Sleeping Beauty."
  Dog snores loudly 
"Brilliant!" says the director. "He's got the part!"

Pistachio gives him the stage name of Maurice (after her grandfather) the Magnificent and his career takes off.  With all the attention given to Maurice, Pistachio neglects her best friend Madeline.  Her BFF feels left out and abandoned.  Those hurtful feelings of being cast aside (because of a dog) causes Madeline to to do something quite unthinkable to regain her best friends companionship.  Will her dastardly deed work?

I truly loved the illustrations, especially adorable Princess Pistachio.  Gay's watercolour, and coloured-pencil work bring the text alive and is full of humour, detail and action.  The story is very well-written and has a plot that kids can identify with and enjoy tremendously.  I highly, highly recommend this book. 

Storywraps Rating -  5 +++ HUGS!!!!!

About the author/illustrator

Children's author and illustrator Marie-Louise Gay was born in Quebec City, Canada on June 17, 1952. While attending the Institute of Graphic Arts of Montreal, she decided graphic art was too restraining and transferred to the Montreal Museum School of Fine Art, where is majored in animation. She worked for various Canadian magazines doing editorial illustration and illustrated a children's book. In order to learn more about illustration, she attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco for three years. She moved to Montreal, Canada and started illustrating children's books. In 1980, she decided to write and illustrate her own picture books. In 1984, she won the Canada Council Children's Literature Prize for illustration in both the English-language category for Lizzy's Lion and the French-language category for DrΓ΄le d'Γ©cole. She won the Canadian Library Association Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon medal for Moonbeam on a Cat's Ear in 1987 and for Rainy Day Magic in 1988. The latter book also earned her the coveted Governor General's Award for illustration. She has also won the 2005 Vicky Metcalf Award, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the Mr. Christie's Book Award, and the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award.

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