Friday, June 10, 2016

Me on Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures

Title: Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures
Authors: Jackson Pearce & Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press

Pip is a girl who can talk to magical creatures. Her aunt is a vet for magical creatures. And her new friend Tomas is allergic to most magical creatures. When things go amok—and they often go amok—Pip consults Jeffrey Higgleston's Guide to Magical Creatures, a reference work that Pip finds herself constantly amending. Because dealing with magical creatures like unicorns, griffins, and fuzzles doesn't just require book knowledge—it requires hands-on experience and thinking on your feet. For example, when fuzzles (which have an awful habit of bursting into flame when they're agitated) invade your town, it's not enough to know what the fuzzles are—Pip and Tomas also must trace the fuzzles' agitation to its source, and in doing so, save the whole town.

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures is fun and adventurous, full of magical creatures and impossibility. Full of lessons learned and actions taken into Pip's own hands.

Pip is a smart girl who loves animals, who loves magical creatures and would love the chance to work with them and study them when she's older. She's like a tiny researcher. It's just too bad that she struggles to get her point across with adults and that they never believe her when she says she can talk to the creatures. Because she can. And she can understand what they say back to her. This makes Pip the perfect person to solve the recent fuzzle mystery going through town, why they've suddenly appeared in droves. If she can solve the mystery before its too late.

There are a lot of fun side characters in this book that compliment and contrast against Pip's desire to research and learn. There's new friend Tomas, who is allergic to almost everything. There's her aunt Emma, the friendly vet, and cousin Callie, an overacting musical theatre enthusiast. And there's Regent Maximus, a unicorn who's afraid of just about everything, like the sky, and thinks any number of things could jump up and attack him. Like the sky.

The entire book was full of accidents and magical creature fun and mystery solving, nothing too dangerous or evil going on. There were a couple of characters that came across as huge clich├ęs, like they were only there to serve as foils and moments of conflict for Pip and her churning thoughts. But I still had fun reading this. So if you know a middle grade reader looking for something light and exciting and full of magic, give them this book.

(I borrowed a copy of this book from the library.)

1 comment:

  1. This looks fun. I like griffins and creatures like that so I'm tempted to grab it even if it's middle grade. :) Looks like a cute book.

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