Polly and Spell return to shake up the school book fair after series opener Polly Diamond and the Magic Book (2018).
Polly Diamond’s day is going to be spectacular: Today is the school fair, and it’s all about books. The mixed-race girl’s love of books and words has only grown since her magic book, Spell, appeared, and the pair have had several adventures, playing with words and stories as everything that Polly writes in Spell comes true. At school, what starts as one idea to make up for the broken popcorn machine soon becomes a game of punny attractions as a Pop-Open-A-Book-Corn stall, a Title-Tastic-Photo Booth, a Read-A-Coaster, and much more spill from Polly’s imagination to Spell’s pages and out over the fair. The fair is a massive hit, but after a magic carpet ride and turning a friend into a dragon (and her annoying babysitter into a squirrel), Polly realizes she has lost Spell. Alas, retracing her steps is not as simple as vanquishing a puddle monster. This second installment is full to the brim with the fun and tricky flexibility of language, which drives the small tempest of plot. Potential new vocabulary is called out with italics and defined, though clarity is hampered somewhat by the use of italics for emphasis with other words as well. Nevertheless, Toledano’s spot art continues to add another dimension to Polly and Spell’s world, giving less-experienced readers extra context clues and establishing Polly’s dad as white and her mom as a woman of color.
For story lovers and storytellers. (list of books mentioned) (Fantasy. 5-8)