Review: Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures

REVIEW

22716447Title: Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures
Series: Pip Bartlett
Authors: Jackson Pearce & Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication date: April 28, 2015
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Source: Purchased from school book fair

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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 Review

What I liked:

  • This book was so entertaining. It was a fluffy, fun book without anything scary or super dramatic, which is just what I needed to read after a week filled with Parent Teacher Conferences and paperwork.
  • The illustrations were what drew me into the book initially. Each magical creature that appears in the book has a beautiful full-page illustration, hand-drawn by Maggie Stiefvater herself.
  • Pip carried a field guide to magical creatures with her everywhere, and often consulted it for advice and to add her own discoveries into the margins.  I loved that Pip was always curious and inquisitive to learn more about the creatures she encountered.  These guide pages are the illustrations we see in the book.
  • Pip and Tomas’s friendship was so sweet. It’s sad that great, positive different-gender friendships in books for kids and teens are difficult to find.
  • Tomas was allergic to practically everything and the way the authors’ portrayed his allergic reactions in this magical world was so unique and interesting. At one point, Tomas hiccups rainbow bubbles when he’s around an allergy! Could you imagine?!
  • Regent Maximus, a unicorn who was afraid of everything, was the star of the book in my opinion.  I loved everything about his character.

What I disliked:

  • Pip could talk to magical creatures, and no one ever really believed her.  Unicorns exist in this world, so why was it such a stretch for the characters to believe that she could communicate with them??
  • I wish the illustrations has been in color. I’ve seen the full-color versions of Maggie’s illustrations, and they’re gorgeous. It would have been great to see those in the book as well.
  • Sometimes I felt like the fears of certain characters were being mocked rather than taken seriously. Other characters often didn’t make enough effort to understand or help when a character was scared.

My Rating

4 feathers copy

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About the Authors:

Jackson Pearce currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with a slightly cross-eyed cat and a lot of secondhand furniture. She recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and a minor in Philosophy and currently works for a software company even though she auditioned for the circus (she juggled and twirled fire batons, but they still didn’t want her). Other jobs she’s had include obituaries writer, biker bar waitress, and receptionist.

Jackson began writing when she got angry that the school librarian couldn’t tell her of a book that contained a smart girl, horses, baby animals, and magic. Her solution was to write the book herself when she was twelve. Her parents thought it was cute at first, but have grown steadily more concerned for her ever since.

New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She’s made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.

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