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The Maggie B.

4.51  ·  Rating Details  ·  334 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
One night before she goes to sleep, Margaret wishes on the North Star for a ship named after herself. The next morning, she wakes up on the Maggie B., sailing across the ocean with her baby brother, James, for company.
Paperback, First Aladdin Edition, 32 pages
Published 1987 by Aladdin Paperbacks (first published September 1st 1975)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 538)
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Jan 16, 2012 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture
I don't remember exactly what part of this appealed to me as a child. The ship? Most likely just the idea of having a private place that was exactly how I wanted it. Isn't that a fantasy for many children?

North Star, star of the sea,
I wish for a ship
Named after me,
To sail for a day
Alone and free,
With someone nice
For company.

Margaret's company is her baby brother, James, and her her ship is pretty sweet. It even has a tiny farm! But when you look at the story through adult eyes, it is a strange
Sep 17, 2009 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My six-year-old self would have loved this book and fantasized about a day at sea on the "Katie W" full of independence and adventure and good food and sweet songs and lots of fun. (Okay, my grown-up self wouldn't mind sailing away for a day of escape, either!) There is nothing really "amazing" about this story, and yet it held some magic, somehow. The illustrations are lovely and interesting (though did any one else notice that Maggie on the ship looks a bit older, and a teensy bit gnome/elf- l ...more
Jan 04, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of boats and magic and homey comforts

At my favorite used bookstore in Vermont, I spy my daughter's most beloved childhood story. Her version has been read to two other children and is a spineless thing. So as luck would have it - and I am always lucky in this store (from finding amazing books to being hit on by gorgeous young Burlington students still operating under the delusion that they should have a Mrs. Robinson experience) - I open the book to find the previous owner's name written inside. Jessica. My daughter's name.

I love
May 09, 2008 dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I want to live on a magical ship with a wee farm on the poop deck, too.
We love
Apr 27, 2015 We love rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e
This is a delightful book with a subtle lesson on the blessing of siblings. Gorgeous illustrations, beautiful language, and imaginative story!
Juneau Public Library

The plot of this picture book is summed up by the Library of Congress like so: "A little girl's wish to sail for a day on a boat named for her 'with someone nice for company' comes true”. Maggie's little brother is that "someone nice" and the two of them spend the day on their little boat living the sea life. The boat is fully equipped with a tree bearing fruit, also various chickens and a goat. Maggie herself fishes and serves up sumptuous meals of lobster and peaches with cinnamon and honey fo
This book has been on several children's book lists I have read through and, since it has my daughter's name in the title, I checked it out. Despite the good reviews I had read I found it to be I liked it fine but wasn't head over heels in love with it. I had expected and more adventurous story and found it a little dry. Nothing really grabbed me about it. The pictures are a different story though--they are beautiful!
Sep 04, 2009 Exzetta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been looking for this book for years. I read it over and over again as a child. I wanted to be here. When my husband told me about the wild things movie, I told him this book meant more to me. I went on line type "book about a girl in a sailboat with a baby boy. i found it on here. It is simple and that's what makes it wonderful.
May 21, 2013 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was adorable. Also, there's a song in here that my aunt used to sing when we all were babies, and I have never seen it or heard it anywhere else, so that was particularly exciting. The copy I have is quite old and worn out; I hope this one is still in print. I really liked it.
Oct 15, 2011 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
I want to read this over and over and over. It's the perfect little picture book. There's singing and danger, eating and painting, sailing, dreaming, and napping.

Gotta love anyone who finishes lunch only to wonder, "What shall we have for supper tonight?"
Sep 04, 2008 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This is a beautiful picture book! I remember loving it when I was little, and I brought it home to read with my son, who seems to like it too. It has songs, children at sea without their parents, a toucan, and a storm all portrayed through gorgeous illustrations.
Jun 21, 2007 Eliza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone but especially big sisters
my parents gave me this book when my little brother was born. I still read it! The pictures are sumptuous and the story is perfect for an older sibling. The moral of the story: little brothers *can* make good companions.
Jul 27, 2007 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoritestuff
Fuck yeah! What a great book. These must be in Ma's attic, right Tracy? Click on the picture until it's large and then take a good look. What a fabulous, fabulous book.
Feb 29, 2008 Gloria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my all time fav childrens book. Amazing artwork. Comforting story. I grew up reading it and actually named by new beetle car the Maggie B.
Sep 06, 2007 Deyna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: babies
A sweet story of a big sister taking care of her little brother. One of my favorite children's stories.
Mar 26, 2015 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh wow! This was one of my favourite books as a child and I've been searching for it for years but couldn't remember the title or author. I've just found it on a search site for similar book "nostalgists", and am so happy! It's a lovely dream-like book with a sweet story, probably rather out of keeping with today's techy kids and their fast-paced focus, but really little ones will hopefully still enjoy the simplicity and imagination involved, Beautiful, ethereal illustrations. A real must for th ...more
Amy Forrester
Nov 03, 2012 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“This is a story of a wish come true. Margaret Barnstable wished on a star one night--”

And what did she wish for? To sail on a ship named after herself, alone and free, with “someone nice for company.” When she woke up the next morning she found herself on the deck of The Maggie B. with her dear baby brother, James, for company. All day long they did just as they pleased, eating food from the ocean and the farm on the poop deck. They sang and played, cooked and napped until the sky grew thick wi
Jul 26, 2014 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read The Maggie B. as a preschooler in the 70s, and it immediately became one of my favorites. I loved the independence of little Margaret as she took care of business on her very own ship with only her baby brother for company. The beautiful watercolor illustrations convey a dream like quality. My love for this book extended into adulthood when I became a mother to my own Maggie B., naming my daughter after it. We didn't stick her with the name Barnstable, however.
Jul 07, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the flights of fancy in this story - that a little girl's dream is to have a day on a boat with some good company and then she gets it (very vaguely implied as she dreams that night) and it's a boat that has a toucan and garden on it. It was nice to see that her younger brother was the good company - so often younger siblings are depicted as annoying or to be avoided. The little girl is self-sufficient taking care of the cleaning, boating, cooking, and child-care. The songs and rhymes in ...more
It doesn't get any better than this. I read this as a child and almost fell over when I saw it in the window of a bookstore in Brooklyn. It was out of print for a while and difficult to find. I once read somewhere that it is the ultimate depiction of comfort. I totally agree. It is like a warm glass of milk on a cold night. I am so happy to now share this with my girls. The illustrations are perfection.
Apr 22, 2016 Ruth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books, 2016
I checked the date on this book after we read it because I was suspicious. Yep, 1975. A little girl makes a wish for a day on a boat with someone for company and it comes true, but she spends the whole day cleaning, cooking, and taking care of her little brother. And that's what she wanted. For her wish.

Uhhhhh, no.

The illustrations are pretty, though, so I'm giving it two stars.
Trudy Pomerantz
I'm not sure why this book was on my list of books to read except it must have been a book-of-the-month for one of the goodreads book groups I was a member of.

The illustrations were excellent and the story was pleasant. I probably would have enjoyed reading this to my kids when they were younger but it would not have been one that stood out in my mind as a must-keep.
Nik McGrath
Sep 18, 2014 Nik McGrath rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had many favourite picture books as a child, but this was my ultimate favourite. Irene Haas' watercolours are just beautiful. Her imagination is sublime. Her words are poetic. This story is full of magic, dreams and fantasies that are unforgettable. I have reread and rediscovered this picture book for YA lit at uni, and cannot wait to share it with my fellow students.
Jul 23, 2016 Siskiyou-Suzy rated it it was amazing
The Maggie B. is an absolutely darling little book. I love that the whole thing is just this tidy little adventure. There's no real plot, yet it's still engaging. And it's so charming. I always used to imagine I was an orphan as a child, and I think there is something intriguing about being a child who is alone and in charge -- really in charge, since she takes on her little brother as essentially her own. The ship is so cozy and magical while still remaining bite-sized and quaint. The Maggie B. ...more
Christy Holt
Sep 03, 2014 Christy Holt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite children's book! I still have my original copy, it has been loved!
Sep 29, 2015 Maggie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this to my daughter. It is a cute story with beautiful pictures.
Feb 12, 2014 Nora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Loved this imagination come to life story when I was a little girl!
Sweet, endearing book with beautiful illustrations.
I would LOVE to have my own sailing ship for a day!
A perfect childhood fantasy in book form.
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