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Review: Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures (Pip Bartlett, #1)From bestselling authors Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce comes an exciting new series full of magical creatures, whimsical adventures, and quirky illustrations.

Pip is a girl who can talk to magical creatures. Her aunt is a vet for magical creatures. And her new friend Tomas is allergic to most magical creatures. When things go amok—and they often go amok—Pip consults Jeffrey Higgleston’s Guide to Magical Creatures, a reference work that Pip finds herself constantly amending. Because dealing with magical creatures like unicorns, griffins, and fuzzles doesn’t just require book knowledge—it requires hands-on experience and thinking on your feet. For example, when fuzzles (which have an awful habit of bursting into flame when they’re agitated) invade your town, it’s not enough to know what the fuzzles are—Pip and Tomas also must trace the fuzzles’ agitation to its source, and in doing so, save the whole town.

Get ready for a really cute novel for younger readers. While I was not a fan of Stiefvater's YA series but I do enjoy Pearce's stories, I decided to give this Sunshine State Reader a try. I figured a blending of the two writers couldn't be bad. I am new to what I consider early(ish) chapter books. This book is geared towards readers in grades 3-5, but is probably best suited for the younger range. 

As would be expected with a short novel for younger readers, there wasn't a great deal of character development and action that I enjoy in longer books. But that doesn't mean this wasn't an enjoyable read. There were several places that had me chuckling. Pip is a great character that is full of sass and wit. She meets a very unlikely friend in Tomas, who had enough issues to provide plenty of comedy relief. Together, they set the tone of the novel, which I thought sent a good message to readers. Pip and Tomas are far from perfect. You might even consider them quirky. But that does not stop them from following their hearts and doing what they know is right. 

As a first book in a series, Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures sets up the remainder of the series nicely. You can tell the antagonist that will reappear throughout the novels, and her presence provides plenty of believable drama to come. 

I read through several of the Sunshine State Readers this summer and I highly recommend this one from the 2016-17 list.


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Review: The Search for Delicious

The Search for Delicious Natalie Babbitt
Product Details

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Square Fish (August 21, 2007)
ISBN-10: 9780312369828
Source: My personal book

Summary from Amazon: Gaylen, the King’s messenger, a skinny boy of twelve, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on his horse, Marrow. At first it is merely a question of disagreement at the royal castle over which food should stand for Delicious in the new dictionary. But soon it seems that the search for Delicious had better succeed if civil war is to be avoided.

Gaylen’s quest leads him to the woldweller, a wise, 900-year-old creature who lives alone at the precise center of the forest; to Canto, the minstrel who sings him an old song about a mermaid child and who gives him a peculiar good-luck charm; to the underground domain of the dwarfs; and finally to Ardis who might save the kingdom from havoc.

My Review: I love this book! It is such a fun, easy, and enjoyable r…