Wednesday, June 3, 2015

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

Title: Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures 
Author: Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication date: April 28, 2015
Pages: 192
Source/format: ARC from BEA 2015

Rating: ☆☆☆

Synopsis (from

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

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures is a cute middle grade book about magical creatures. The main character, Pip, has a special ability which allows her to talk to animals. The career day at school is the perfect way to introduce Pip and her animal talking ability. I enjoyed reading the interaction between Pip and the animals. Adults and other children think Pip might be strange but what they don't know is that Pip understands animals more than they do. No one believes Pip has this incredible ability.

What I liked about the book is how it incorporates images of magical creatures such as Unicorns and Fuzzles. Pip even includes her own notes next to the images which reminds me of how the Half-Blood Prince from the Harry Potter series adds his own notes to his Advanced Potion-Making book. Readers can see visuals of what Pip is talking about when she describes animals. Pip's friendship with a boy named Tomas made me enjoy the book even more. Strong friendships are important especially in children's books. Kids need to see what good friendships look like. They also need to see characters who are a little bit different from the mainstream because they need to learn that being different is not bad. Being different makes each person unique.

I am usually not a big Maggie Stiefvater fan because of her writing style but this one works. I believe the co-authoring between Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce is a superb collaboration. If you are looking for a quick middle grade read with a bit of magical, humorous and whimsical storytelling and characters, definitely check out Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures.

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