Magnolia's Magnificent Map by Lauren Bradshaw, illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan

Magnolia's Magnificent Map
illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan
Review copy from Cameron Books
The Walnut Animal Society gathers once a month for their Society Soirée where they take turns sharing their work. It's Magnolia the Bunny's turn to share, but her work is not quite finished. Magnolia has spent months exploring, sketching and taking pictures of the walnut grove in order to create a map of it but there is one spot she hasn't been able to reach. With Margaux the Kitty at her side, they head out to find that last, elusive spot. They run into Chester the Raccoon and he shows them how to reach the top of the mountain where they find the source of the river and the perfect swimming hole. After a swim, Magnolia takes pictures, makes sketches and prepares to add the final missing spot - the swimming hole - to her map. The Walnut Animal Society is thrilled to see their neighborhood mapped out and the Society Soirée is a success!
Bradshaw's creation of The Walnut Animal Society began as stuffed toys she created for her son. An interior designer by trade, a feature in a magazine on her home and the toys resulted in a book deal. Henry's Bright Idea was published in 2016, followed by Magnolia's Magnificent Map. While I haven't read the first book, I found the writing of this book flat and the story a bit dull. But, because Kirwan's illustrations are wonderfully painterly and I love, love, love books with and/or about maps, I was willing to overlook the clunky writing. And, the book design by Melissa Nelson Greenberg, is wonderful! The book case (the part under the dust jacket) has a image different from the dust jacket AND the inside of the dust jacket has Magnolia's magnificent map printed on it, along with the Walnut Animal Society's motto, "Always Remain Curious."

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