Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater

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Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures
by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater
192 pages
Personal Copy
Scholastic Press
April 2015

Book Jacket Summary
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.

My Thoughts
This is magical realism at it's best. Everything is the same except one minor thing and in this book it is that mythical creatures are part of everyday life. Pip has the ability to speak to these animals but no one really believes her. Her parents think it's a phase that she she will grow out of and others just think she is lying. This gets Pip in trouble and ultimately shipped to her aunt's house for the summer. However, this is actually to her advantage because her aunt is a vet for mythical animals.
Pip now gets to help out and learns more about each animal; adding this information to her field guide. There is a nervous unicorn, a grumpy griffin, and an infestation of fuzzles. The fuzzles are everywhere and running around town setting fires when they are scared. It is up to Pip and her new friend Tomas to figure out why the fuzzles are coming in to town before they are distroyed.
 I really like Pip and her bravery when dealing with the different animals. Tomas is cute with his strange allergies that throw Pip for a loop. Pip has to deal with a nervous unicorn that is afraid of it's own shadow which Pip deals with in equal amounts of patience and frustration. She is learning how to deal with her abilities and how to convience everyone that she really can talk to these animals.
With names like Stievater and Pearce behind this book it should be a big hit beyond the middle grade readers it is intended for. I preordered my copy and recieved a signed nameplate and an original illustration. It is a cute book and a wonderful start to a new series.

Book Pairings
 Beast Keeper (Beasts of Olympus, #1) by Lucy Coats 
Whatever After Series by Sarah Mlynowski



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