A good-hearted good choice for budding fantasy fans

THE MAGIC MIRROR

From the Once Upon a Fairy Tale series , Vol. 1

In this series opener, two children must solve a mystery to fix the magic mirror that makes winter possible.

A sweltering heat wave has descended upon the Enchanted Kingdom. When Kara visits her best friend, royal messenger Zed, she can’t resist checking out a message rejected by its royal recipient and marked “Return to Sender.” Princess Aspen needs help fixing her magic mirror in order to enable her ice magic to bring winter. After receiving permission from Zed’s gram, the proactive duo—plus a crow named Rooster—head off to try to help. They receive a frosty reception from the practically melting princess, who explains the mirror shattered; upon reassembly, it was missing a piece. She believes the culprit to be the sun princess, her sister, Sola. The heroes visit Sola, finding her friendly but exhausted, ready for summer to be over. While Sola knows nothing about the mirror mishap, the visit reveals the amusing true cause of the princesses’ feud—jealously over a shared monkey gifted by their parents. Both the monkey and the crow come into play in the satisfying resolution of the mirror mystery and in making peace between the princesses. The conflict is very gentle, posing no barrier to readers’ ability to grapple with the mystery, and the illustrations, plentiful. Aside from dark-skinned Zed and Gram, all characters in seen art are pale.

A good-hearted good choice for budding fantasy fans . (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-34971-9

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Branches/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

No surprises here.

DUCKSCARES

THE NIGHTMARE FORMULA

From the Disney's Spooky Zone series

The famous Disney duck triplets, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, travel to Berlin and uncover a sinister plot.

Huey, Dewey, and Louie are living with their uncle Donald in Duckburg when they’re appointed International Student ambassadors by the National Association of Studious and Talented Youth. This gives them the opportunity to become exchange students and live in several countries for two-month stints in each. First on the list: Germany. The triplets arrive in Berlin, and a rather transparent mystery reveals itself when a schoolmate starts behaving strangely after being gifted a soccer ball by the mysterious Dr. Z. The light mocking of German culture (cuisine and names in particular) is in poor taste. Dewey, being the middle brother and feeling left out, narrates, but the other brothers chime in regularly. Unfortunately, the varying fonts used for each brother aren’t easily distinguishable and may lead to confusion for readers. Additionally, seemingly arbitrary words are set in boldface, and more than halfway through the book, speech bubbles begin to appear—questionable design choices that may also perplex. Ferrari’s spot art is featured on nearly every page and should help attract reluctant readers. The triplets are easily recognizable, and all characters are very expressive. There’s not much here that won’t be obvious to astute readers, but it may draw in fans of the TV show DuckTales. Oh, and this one isn’t for arachnophobes!

No surprises here. (Adventure. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-5077-9

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This funny, endearing addition to the series will delight early readers, especially dog lovers.

KING & KAYLA AND THE CASE OF THE LOST TOOTH

From the King & Kayla series

King and Kayla, the detective duo, are back to solve the mystery of Kayla’s missing tooth.

King, the happy and hilarious golden retriever narrator, anxiously awaits the return of his human, Kayla, who’s been at school for “eleventy seven hours. Maybe even eleventy seven days.” When Kayla finally arrives home, she has big news: She’s lost a tooth! Kayla is excited to use her class’s tooth-fairy pillow that night, but, alas, her tooth is missing! Though King discovers the pillow smells like turkey sandwiches (his favorite food), just like Kayla’s teeth, her tooth is nowhere to be found. The pair checks the car, the last place Kayla saw the tooth, and King finds lots of crumbs (more of his favorite foods) but no tooth. And so it goes, and Kayla must go to bed with an empty pillow. In the morning, Kayla finds a dollar, a dog treat, and a note from the tooth fairy even though her tooth wasn’t there. But when King notices the pillow still smells like turkey sandwiches, he’s found the final clue. Each page includes illustrations that are often humorous and highlight the affection between King and Kayla, who is depicted with brown skin and Afro-textured hair.

This funny, endearing addition to the series will delight early readers, especially dog lovers. (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-56145-880-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more