English / Australia
Daoud, Amy (illus.)
Newtown, N.S.W.: Walker Books Australia, 2016. – 158 p.
Friendship | Skeleton | Cemetery | Death | Paranormal fiction | Fantasy fiction
White Ravens issue: 2017
Reading age: 10+
“Magrit” is an unusual tale of love, patience, and longing. Lee Battersby’s beautiful prose is woven together with playful, haunting illustrations by Amy Daoud. These elements combine to form a magical view of friendship and the desire to be with others. Magrit is nearly ten. She wanders about the abandoned cemetery where she lives, whiling away hours talking to her only friend, Master Puppet. Her quiet, lonely life changes one rainy spring night when a baby is delivered into her care. The girl knows nothing about babies but learns to provide for her new charge. She alternates between seeking and ignoring the advice of Master Puppet regarding the foundling that she decides to name Bugrat, after the first two things she sees. Magrit does her best to nurture and protect Bugrat, but she cannot protect herself from the terrible reality of her own existence. Readers will be mesmerized by this book. This is a skilfully told story that touches upon our desire to know and be known by others.