Text: Mildred Kantrowitz
Illustrations: Emily A.McCully
Publication Date: 1972
Maxie is a sensitive account of an elderly lady who lives with her orange cat and canary, yet feels alone. Who fills her day with routine and ritual yet feels a sense of meaningless.
Maxie is unaware of how her daily actions and sounds affect the lives and functionality of the people in her neighbourhood. Her decision to stop, and retreat into her bed, puts their lives into disarray.
When the neighbours barrage into her house, her spirits lift and she returns to her routines which she now feels have meaning.
“Maxie listened and thought about how many people were being touched by these sounds – her sounds”.
Kantrowitz’s glimpse at depression and one’s sense of worth is a deep issue to explore.
How would Maxie feel if nobody heard her sounds? Who could tell Maxie how important she is? What else could make Maxie feel special when she is alone? McCully’s emotive illustrations powerfully depict Maxie’s sadness.
Kantrowitz reminds us of the importance of showing appreciation to others and the power of kindness.
It is the little things that count, people need people.