August 03, 2017

Princess Pistachio and Maurice the Magnificent

Written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
Pajama Press
52 pp.
Ages 5-8
August 2017

Dog is Princess Pistachio’s pooch and Marie-Louise Gay uses her words and pictures to make sure young readers know exactly who he is.  (I can already hear little ones shouting out, "He's just like my dog!")
From Princess Pistachio and Maurice the Magnificent 
by Marie-Louise Gay
Because Dog's days are filled with sleeping, napping and eating, Pistachio thinks he needs some adventure and excitement to prevent him from dying of boredom.  Dog thinks otherwise.
Dog grunts as he heaves himself up onto his tiny legs.  He waddles to the door.  He looks outside.  He signs, shakes his head, and waddles back to his cushion. (pg.9)
When she hides Dog in her backpack for a trip to school, Pistachio takes him out for Show and Tell but all Dog has to show is his ability to fall asleep promptly on the teacher’s desk.  The kids laugh.

When the Doggone Theater sends out a casting call for a “talented, intelligent, beautiful dog to play a starring role” (pg. 19), Pistachio is sure it’s the perfect job for Dog.  Annoyingly, her best friend Madeline scoffs at the idea.  But, amidst the amazing dog performers, Dog is selected, the perfect pick for the leading role of Sleeping Beauty.  Now with a stage name–Maurice the Magnificent–Dog has the un-boring life of a star.  But with that fame, Pistachio learns, comes a price when Maurice is dognapped.  Fortunately Pistachio finds a way to get Dog back safely and resolve a friendship that was almost lost to jealousy.
From Princess Pistachio and Maurice the Magnificent 
by Marie-Louise Gay
I'd join others in applauding Maurice the Magnificent's performance but I think we should extend those accolades to Marie-Louise Gay who can do no wrong in her storytelling or illustrating.  Her Stella and Sam books have garnered her many an award and nomination but her Princess Pistachio series (this is Book 3) takes us from the world of imaginative play into the realm of young school children trying to figure out how to get along with others.

Pistachio loves her Dog and just wants him to have a good life, and she's willing to help make that happen.  She's like a mother to him, arranging for play and opportunities and doing anything to get him back when taken.  But she's also smart enough to know when she's beat and it's evident what Dog enjoys doing most of all. And doesn't Marie-Louise Gay make him adorable!  With his patch around the eye, short tail and legs splayed out behind him when he flops down, Dog is every dog that is loved.
From Princess Pistachio and Maurice the Magnificent 
by Marie-Louise Gay
Princess Pistachio and Maurice the Magnificent is a worthy addition to this absolutely marvelously magnificent series that is ever entertaining and endearing!

Princess Pistachio (Pajama Press, 2014)
Princess Pistachio and the Pest (Pajama Press, 2015)
Princess Pistachio and Maurice the Magnificent (Pajama Press, 2017)

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