Pip, who can talk to magical animals, runs into both a major challenge and a mystery at the Triple Trident show.
Pip is naturally over the moon when the large annual gathering of mythological creatures comes to her Georgia town. But the discovery that Regent Maximus, the scene-stealing unicorn first met in Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Beasts (2015), has been entered in a competition presents her with a real poser: can she find ways to keep the hilariously skittish animal from fleeing the ring in blind panic and maybe even put in a good showing? Keeping to their avowed intentions, the co-authors trot in one adorable traditional or newly minted beast after another, from baby unicorns (or as they put it: “Baby. Unicorns”) to the sugar-loving greater rainbow mink—which produces candy-scented (but not -flavored) poo—and various occasionally invisible glimmerbeasts like the crested curly woo. All are illustrated and provided with descriptive profiles. Though so free of villains, rivals, or even momentary friction between characters that a mysterious vandal who cuts off unicorn tails turns out to have worthy reasons, the story is rescued from blandness by its humor and its uniformly good-natured multispecies cast. Pip looks white on the cover; her Latino friends Tomas and Marisol are the only characters with specific ethnic markers.
A resolutely but not obnoxiously feel-good episode with well-merited just deserts all round. (Fantasy. 8-11)