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)