Friday, July 21, 2017

Magic Animal Rescue: Maggie and the flying horse

I've been going through a whole slew of beginning chapter books and was interested to take a look at this new series from E. D. Baker, especially since her Frog Princess series has recently enjoyed a revival at my library after we read it in book club.

Maggie lives in the Enchanted Forest and loves the magical creatures she sees there. But her woodcutter father is working far away and she's stuck with her mean stepmother, Zelia, and rotten stepbrother, Peter, neither of whom believe she can see the magical creatures. When she accidentally injures a tiny flying horse, Maggie is determined to take it to Bob the Stableman, who she's heard takes care of magical creatures.

After a long and dangerous journey, Maggie finally arrives and her life immediately takes a turn for the better. For the first time she has someone on her side, someone who can also see magical creatures. Bob not only promises to take care of the little horse, he's impressed by Maggie's resourcefulness and how she risked the dangers of the forest. Now Maggie has plenty of excitement and magic to look forward to in the future as she observes and helps magical creatures with Bob.

This is definitely a beginning chapter book, with a large font, short, choppy sentences, and simple black and white digital illustrations. I can't really say why it didn't appeal to me. It has Baker's trademark blend of contemporary and fairy tale life, and the magical creatures were interesting, but it just didn't have that spark. Maggie is rather a dull character when all is said and done and the "mean stepmother" trope is so worn out.

Verdict: An acceptable addition, especially if you have E. D. Baker fans, but I think I'll go with Paula Harrison's new series instead, which had more memorable characters.

ISBN: 9781681193120; Published 2017 by Bloomsbury; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

No comments: