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The Maggie B.

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  440 Ratings  ·  86 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.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 1975 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Rating details
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Jul 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
More for children. Do kids today still like to play house and imagine adventures? Love the details of including a sea shanty, a lullaby, the little farm on the poop deck, the recipes.... So many of the images, though, were so very difficult for me to make out, what with the girl's dress being too big for her and so many colors & patterns.

On a jelly roll pan, slice peaches, drizzle with honey, sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake about 1/2 hour in a medium oven. (Great way to use unsatisfactory u
May 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I want to live on a magical ship with a wee farm on the poop deck, too.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Absolutely beautiful illustrations!
Jan 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is the coziest book I've read in a long time. Margaret Barnstable sails off on a dream ship with her brother, James, "who was a dear baby." She keeps house on the ship, cooks meals, and retreats into the cabin for a very cozy time during the storm. The pictures are completely amazing although I couldn't help wishing they were all in color (although the black-and-white ones are charming, too).
Sep 10, 2013 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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.
Valentin Eni
Jan 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
Ilustraţiile sînt de nota zece, dar "povestea" mi s-a părut criminal de plictisitoare şi chiar depresivă. De ce Maggie B. se ocupă cu menajul, îngrijirea fratelui mai mic şi cu bucătăritul în loc să se bucure (împreună cu cititorul) de aventuri fantastice?
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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?"
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e
This is a delightful book with a subtle lesson on the blessing of siblings. Gorgeous illustrations, beautiful language, and imaginative story!
Sep 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: babies
A sweet story of a big sister taking care of her little brother. One of my favorite children's stories.
Feb 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Beautiful detailed illustrations, with warm, comfortable elements that make the sailing ship of Margaret Barnstable's dreams - the Maggie B - seem like home away from home for her and her little brother James. A lovely vision of wish fulfillment, as Margaret's wish upon the North Star is to sail for just a day, and she and James spend a delightful day on the Maggie B (which even has a tiny garden/farm on the poop deck, complete with fruit trees and animals). Maggie's and James's story also inclu ...more
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My favourite book as a child. We didn't own a copy. It I borrowed it nearly every second week from the school library. I didn't remember what it was called just the rush imagery until a combined search with my mother, a librarian, we found it. I've bought my 2 year old daughter a copy and we read it often. It's also my go to gift for little girls!
Marissa Elera
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: imagination
A book for bedtime and dreaming and eating baked peaches with cinnamon and honey. Sometimes simple adventure are best!
Megan Codera
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This will always be one of my favorite stories...
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the most charming and beautifully illustrated children's books I've ever read. Both my 3-year-old daughter and I love it.
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
My favorite childhood book.
Thalia Marrington
Mar 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is a brilliant book. My copy , well worn, from the 70'2 has amazing textured pages and hardback with the picture and the dust jacket too. The Copy I have just received from books please had a green plain cover (is it jus some imrpint or copy from a print shop) a dust jacket (very bright coloured piacture) and the pages are printed on SUCH thin paper that it feels just cheap and nasty. As bought as a gift am so disappointed. Book please response was terrible too!! They just said 'it could ha ...more
Amy Forrester
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“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
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
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Penny Cline
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One night Margaret Barnstable wishes on the North star that she might sail for a day on a ship named after her with someone nice for company.

Wonderful illustrations and a lovely dream story with a subtle ideal for young minds, especially for children with a small sibling, as the little girl takes care of her baby brother James in the cabin of her own little ship. She looks after the animals on the tiny farm, keeps things shipshape, cooks and feeds them both, sings him sea-shanties, and protects
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
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Children's picture book [s] 3 49 Jul 24, 2008 08:36AM  
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