Sunday, October 4, 2015

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

23310214Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stifvater
Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Published:  April 28th 2015 by Scholastic Press

Genres:  MG Fantasy
Pages: 192 pages
Format:  Hardcover
Source:  Library 

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.  (From Goodreads)

Pip Bartlett jots down observations into the Magical Creatures guide she carries around, bits of information like Fuzzle's  catch on fire if scared or excited.  All helpful things if you ever came across a Fuzzle, especially one that might be hiding in your underwear drawer.  Pip is a valuable addition to her aunts clinic, because of  her unique ability to talk to magical creatures.  She is able to figure out what's wrong with them, or why their owners brought them in, and that makes her a huge asset.  Problem is not everyone believes that she has this special ability, because no one else can hear what the creatures are saying and well animals don't talk.  Except Tomas, who doesn't laugh at her or think she's strange, instead he simply believes in the "unbelievable."  The two make for an interesting pair.   Tomas with his allergies to just about everything in mankind, and Pip with her confidence that she can find a solution to the Fuzzle problem.  That is if she can  think things through before she acts.  I can see the two having many fun adventures together.  The magical creatures themselves are also pretty interesting.  Some remind me of a cross between two real animals and seem to have lots of kid appeal.    I remember some tweets where the authors had kids design their own magical animals, so that's a bonus for those budding artists out there. Overall, a quick read with humor, and fun magical creatures that can be read as a stand alone.  With creatures like Unicorns, Bitterflunk, and Emerald Dunking Duck's, I'm sure there's still plenty of creative things to come.  Maybe even a dragon, nah those don't exist.   

 "That one?"  Bubbles narrowed his eyes at the boy, who was watching us draw closer and closer.  "I think he'll work."  "Really? Why?"  "Because you look like you're the same sort of weird.  Humans are friends with other humans who are the same sort of weird.  Emma is friends with other people who like animals.  Callie is friends with other people who annoy me.  Yes.  He'll work for you.  Matching weird."   

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures has been nominated for the Cybils award and my review reflects my personal opinion, not the opinion of the Cybils committee. 

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