A magic spelling book turns a young girl’s world upside down as her family prepares for the arrival of a new baby brother.
Polly Diamond is an aspiring writer and loves words—all kinds of words! But she especially loves the words in a new spelling book left mysteriously on her doorstep, because when she writes in the book, the book writes back. After writing a few lists and stories in the book, Polly soon realizes that the book’s magic also has the power to make her words come true. She wants to show her amazing new book to her family, but Mom and Dad are busy with work and preparing the house for the new baby, including moving Polly’s 3-year-old sister into Polly’s room. When Polly tries to use the spelling book to improve things (turning her house into an enormous mansion and turning her sister into a banana), she soon discovers that the words she loves don’t always mean what she wants them to. Kuipers spins an enchanting adventure of magic and mishaps as Polly tries to master the art of wishes and to balance her talent for stories with her need to be literal. Toledano’s spot illustrations provide visual depth and a dynamic dimension of representation to Polly’s multiracial family (Dad is white and Mom is a woman of color) and world.
A great choice for logophiles and budding authors. (Fantasy. 5-8)