A trio of friends travel to a magical kingdom to save the day in a syrupy series opener.
Shy Summer, bold Jasmine and artistic Ellie are inseparable best friends. While helping clean up after a school rummage sale, they discover a mysterious wooden box decorated with a mirror, carved designs and glass stones. After they wipe the dust off of the mirror, a riddle appears. When the girls solve it, the box magically summons Trixi the pixie and King Merry, the ruler of their home, the Secret Kingdom (a magical world that exists alongside ours). The box was one of Merry’s inventions, designed to help him save his kingdom from his wicked sister, Queen Malice. Summer, Jasmine and Ellie go to the Secret Kingdom to stop Malice from spreading unhappiness. The evil queen has hidden six thunderbolts infused with wickedness throughout the kingdom, and the first one is planted somewhere at the palace, where it will ruin Merry’s birthday celebration. In addition to exploring the magical land, the girls must rescue Merry’s presents. In a theatrical final showdown with Malice’s forces, the girls must fill in on stage to thwart Malice’s evil plot to sabotage Merry’s birthday. The girls promise to return whenever they’re needed. Readers who can’t wait to return to the Secret Kingdom won’t have to—the second book, Unicorn Valley (978-0-545-53554-0), is scheduled to publish simultaneously.
Glitter, sparkles, tiaras and magic ahoy. (Unicorn Valley preview, Ellie character profile, character quiz) (Fantasy. 6-10)