cover image Willa the Wisp (The Fabled Stables #1)

Willa the Wisp (The Fabled Stables #1)

Jonathan Auxier, illus. by Olga Demidova. Amulet, $12.99 (96p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4269-9

Young Auggie has a job that many children will covet: he cares for the magical, mysterious, and “just plain weird” creatures at the Fabled Stables, located on an island at the top of the world. Auggie loves his work, overseeing meals, snacks, and the raucous “hurly-burly hour,” but he has a problem: he longs for a friend. When the stables rearrange themselves to welcome a new arrival, Auggie undertakes a rescue mission to bring the new creature—playful Willa the Wisp, pursued by hunters and hounds—to safety. Graceful text by Auxier (Sweep) moves nimbly from one suspenseful moment to the next, building tension as Auggie, clever and resourceful as well as modest and good-hearted, resolves an array of threatening situations. Folkloric illustrations by Demidova (A Friendship Yarn) portray a fantastical world that brims with life; animals dash with fervor across luminous spreads as startling noises pop off the pages: “The hounds SNARLED and SNAPPED and SPLASHED after their prey!” Words and pictures partner to create a captivating, promising series starter that boasts quirky secondary characters and a sympathetic hero. Ages 6–9. Author’s agent: Joe Regal, Regal Literary. [em](Oct.) [/em]