Aster and the Accidental Magic

Thom Pico, trans. from the French by Anne and Owen Smith, illus. by Karensac. Random House Graphic, $20.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-593-11884-9
Transplanted from a city to a small countryside town, Aster, 10, anticipates weeks of loneliness and boredom. But while exploring a nearby mountain, she encounters a strange old woman with a herd of woolly dogs who offers Aster one of her own: Buzz, whose presence ensures that “the mountain will always look after you.” The two stumble into adventure when they find a clearing inhabited by a mischievous spirit who grants Aster three wishes. Her first, being able to speak with Buzz, results in unexpected comic chaos that embroils Aster in an escalating series of reality-distorting magical escapades. In a second story, Aster must aid seasonal guardians in a transition of power. Friendly, accessible cartooning from Karensac lights up Pico’s whimsical world, endowing the offbeat characters and adorable creatures with a look simultaneously idiosyncratic and familiar. Aster’s confidence, impulsiveness, and quick thinking combine to create a strong and sympathetic heroine, and the supporting cast, including Buzz and a trio of diminutive chestnut knights, fills out the world with memorable personalities. Spirited adventure and an oddball sense of humor make this a promising start to a series that will be perfect for fans of the Hilda comics. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/02/2020
Release date: 03/03/2020
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-0-593-11886-3
Library Binding - 224 pages - 978-0-593-11885-6
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-0-593-12417-8
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