Magical creatures guide readers through various actions in McGonigal’s debut interactive picture book.
Aria, a dragon, and Sapphire, a butterfly, find themselves lost after visiting The Forest of Sparkles. They ask readers to shake the book so they can get back home to the Enchanted Forest. There, they encounter their fish friend, Finn. Aria and Sapphire ask readers to clap, run, and greet Finn loudly. They also say that “banging on the floor with your hands, like a drum” will help Finn swim home quickly. Next, Sapphire urges readers to “spin around three times” to help her fly. Aria also requires assistance because her wings lost their sparkles; readers are requested to “jump up and down three times” and “sing the sparkle song,” a short chant on the following page. The book concludes with a rhyming goodbye. The emphasis on audience participation makes this book best suited as a classroom read-aloud as opposed to a quiet bedtime story. The integrated elements that focus on motor and cognitive skills are clever, and the colorful, whimsically executed illustrations offer much-needed clarification. Because there are two narrators, the first-person perspective can become confusing, particularly as Aria and Sapphire use “we” statements while also referencing each other by name. Dialogue tags would also have been helpful.
A simple, sweet tome that will likely appeal to very young learners.