Posts tagged ‘magic’

MISSING PARENTS AND PORTALS

Sen, Sanja and the Cube of Runes

Written by Borut Lesjak

This is book one of a middle-grade detective fantasy series. Sanja is awakened by a thunderstorm. Her older brother seems unconcerned. Shortly after the two siblings discover their parents are missing under mysterious circumstances. To make matters worse, Social Services wants to place them in foster care.

These intrepid siblings find a mysterious cube in the attic. They vow to employ their detective skills to solve the mystery and outrun Social Services. Sen and Senja employ magic and wizardly to navigate through time dimensions and mysterious portals encountering many interesting characters along the way. Will they solve the mystery of the cube, find their parents, and stay together?

The plot moves quickly and sustains interest. Lots of fun for readers ages eight through twelve.

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GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF THINGS

Onward: The Search for the Dragon Gem: An InQuestigation

Written by Steve Behling

The book is based on the Disney movie. It is primarily a middle-grade read for fans of fantasy, magic, dragons, and coming-of-age novels.

Sadalia is a sophomore at Mushroomton High, Her passion is journalism. She constantly searches for that big story. When a red mist appears around the school one evening, her dream comes true. The high school is taken over by a dragon. The adventure of a lifetime begins.

Will things ever get back to normal? What part have her two schoolmates, Ian and Barley have in the mystery? Can Sadalia get her big scoop? Fans of the movie will want to check out the book. Recommended for grades three through seven.

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#HAPPYEASTER Tea-time Travel Adventure

The Further Adventures of Mrs. Trimble’s Magic Teapot!

Written and illustrated by Steven-Watson Morris

So delighted that the author is giving us a sequel. Book Two contains seven more magical adventures. Readers meet a one-eyed giant, a silver snake, a naughty goblin, the Easter bunny, an alien planet, some bubbles, and a castle of dreams. Children learn that we should be kind and understanding toward others even when others are angry with us. Mrs. Trimble teaches us that when we are naughty like the goblin, we need to undo the harm we have done to others. Then apologize, and make restitution for our mistakes. When Mrs. Trimble meets the Dream Maker, she learns how sweets can turn into healthy fruits. What child would not like to have a bubble adventure!

When the Easter bunny oversleeps one year, our heroes must rescue him.  In their last adventure, our friends land on the Teapot planet where everything is shaped like a teapot. Here they meet Earl Grey, who will restore the magic to their teapot. To return his kindness, Mrs. Trimble leaves him a special gift.

As in the first book, there are delightful pencil drawings. The book ends with coloring pages that feature all the characters in the book’s stories. I recommend the book for elementary and middle-grade readers and anyone who likes to let their imagination soar.

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#WARMING UP…

Kai and His Magical Bobo (Kai Panducorn Book 2)

Written by Kathy V. Tran

Illustrated by Aiki Tran

Kai comes from a magical family. His father is a panda from a warrior family focusing on strength and bravery. Kai’s mother is a unicorn from a family entrusted with maintaining peace and balance. Today he is excited and nervous. Five-year-old Kai will begin school.

Kai stuffs Bobo, his blanket into his backpack. Bobo gives him courage and the strength to be a brave adventurer. Mrs. Kathy introduces him to the other children. When a handicapped fox walks into the room and falls, Kai does not join in the laughter of the other children. He decides to cheer him up. Kai will soon learn that the children have fears like his own. What does Kai find out about himself? Can Kai translate what he learns to the wider community in which he lives?

The illustrations remind me of Manga-style cartoons. The text is a combination of dialogue and character thoughts. I would recommend this book to parents of children beginning nursery school or kindergarten. Children a little bit older can use the discussion questions at the end to explore mindfulness concepts and read the text independently.

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GETTING TO KNOW YOU

Familiar Shadows: A tale from The Federal Witch Series

Written by Taki Drake and T S Paul

This is the first book in an interesting series featuring magic, fantasy, and witches. The narrator is a Russian blue cat named Dascha. At the outset, Dascha has just had an argument with the members of her clowder. She comes from a long line of magical cats, but Dascha just wants to live a normal life. As she walks away, she is swept up by an eagle. Her vision is blurred, her hip is pierced, and she senses imminent death.

Suddenly another larger steppe eagle comes along and snatches Dascha away from her captor. When Dascha awakens, she finds herself in the company of the eagle named Glenfry and his familiar, a witch named Henley. These two live apart from a small village, which they try to protect. Dascha learns to love and revere her protectors, who will entice her to embrace her magical lineage. There will be an adventure, danger, and magic along the perilous journey.

This book of fewer than one hundred pages contains interesting characters and plotlines. I would recommend it for readers ages eight and older.

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A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE INCIDENTS

The Frights of Fiji: (Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions Series Book 1

Written by Sunayna Prasad

This is the first in a series of fantasy adventures for middle-grade readers. Alyssa is the twelve-year-old protagonist who lost her parents in an accident five years prior. Although her parents had named her Uncle Alex as her guardian, she is now living with her Uncle Bruce and his daughter, Hailey.

Bruce is a stern taskmaster; Alyssa lives a life of unending rules and drudgery. When magic becomes a part of her life, along with some strange-looking wizards and creatures, she believes there is the hope of escape from her plight. But then she learns that an evil wizard intends to capture her and remove Bruce from the picture.

Alyssa has been whisked away to Fiji where her situation goes from bad to worse. She is enslaved with several other children and forced to do the evil wizard’s bidding. Will Alyssa find a way to escape back to the United States and find refuge with her godfather?

There are many fantastical characters and a series of rather far-fetched incidents. Even though this book is a magical fantasy, some of the plot connections don’t come off as genuine.

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IN SEARCH OF SOMETHING BETTER

The Magic Forest: The Secret of the Golden Egg

Written by Maya Sanders

Shu is a mythical creature with a horn in the middle of her head. She lives at the top of a tall tree and acts as the protector of the Urman forest. Together with her horse, Tu, Shu wanders the forest assuring that the weak are protected. One day, Shu awakes in a bad mood because she is no longer satisfied with her small, cramped home.

Shu has heard rumors of a golden egg that can turn into a castle, so she and her winged-horse friend seek out Yukka, a 1000-year-old viper who knows all. Yukka assigns Shu three tasks to complete before revealing where to find the golden egg.

On the journey, Shu helps Su find her lost comb, restores the confidence of the Firebird, Rukh, and learns that appearances can be deceptive. Children come to understand the importance of helping others and the necessity of keeping our own needs in check. The tale is an old Tatar folktale that combines magic and fantasy with lessons to learn for humans. There are a few color illustrations that make this book choice more appealing for beginning readers. Recommended for ages seven through ten.

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