Polly Diamond and the Magic Book

In Polly Diamond and the Magic Book, Alice Kuipers expands her range beyond YA novels and picture books into beginning chapter books.

When Polly receives a package marked "Special Delivery from the Writing and Spelling Department," she knows nothing about the powerful magic held within. She opens the package and finds a journal with "A Writing and Spelling Book for Polly Diamond" written on the first page. Polly, with her love of "writing stories," has very big ideas for this journal!

Polly's multiracial family--depicted by Diana Toledano in lively grayscale, spot illustrations--is expecting another child and, when Mom goes into labor, Polly curls up with her brand-new journal. It takes Polly a while to catch on to her book's talents: when she writes about painting her room, she realizes that strange things begin happening. She writes, "I'm going to pile up the stacks of books in my room like a ladder," and then notices that her actual books have flown into the air, forming a ladder. She adds, "The walls of my bedroom are painted Aquarium Blue, like an aquarium" and goes downstairs. When she returns, the room is filled with fish swimming around the walls. "What else can you do?" Polly asks the journal. "Anything you can imagine," it responds in text. However, when Polly wants to solve a global issue to gain fame (and show how "kind and thoughtful" she is), the book writes back "I can't make world peace happen." As can be guessed, things quickly get out of hand and Polly learns that she has to control her wishing. Fans will eagerly await the second in this new series to see more of Polly's writing adventures. --Melinda Greenblatt, freelance reviewer

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