Monday, April 6, 2015

Review: Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce & Maggie Stiefvater

Release date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 192
Format: ARC
Source: Gifted
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
From bestselling authors Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce comes an exciting new series full of magical creatures, whimsical adventures, and quirky illustrations.

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.
I don't often read middle grade books, but the love for a favorite author certainly does a lot to draw me out. With the promise of the wit of both Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce, plus Maggie's illustrations, I just had to read Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures. It's not hard to imagine how much fun they must have had writing this, because it's just so fun to read.

No one believes her, but Pip can talk to magical creatures. This ability is quite unlike what I expected, but so much more enjoyable. Pip is always making adjustments in her guide to magical creatures based on her experiences, with unicorns who are attention hogs or griffins with extremely long tails. But when she comes across fuzzles, she has to go off book and do a bit of her own investigation to deal with her problem.

While I loved the illustrations in and of themselves, they lend much to the book as well. Learning all about the animals from their pages in the guide and seeing Pip's hand-written alterations make for a more complete experience and are something the kids this is written for are sure to love.

I only wish this had been longer! I was having such a good time reading that I didn't realize how quickly the end came. Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures is a delightful start to what promises to be an enjoyable series, and one I'll certainly be continuing.

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