cover image Polly Diamond and the Magic Book

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book

Alice Kuipers, illus. by Diana Toledano. Chronicle, $14.99 (120p) ISBN 978-1-4521-5232-5

This breezy series kickoff from Kuipers (Violet and Victor Write the Most Fabulous Fairy Tale) introduces a heroine with a delightfully outsize personality and celebrates the power of imagination and words. An inveterate list lover and aspiring author, Polly Diamond makes an ambitious to-do list at the start of what she senses will be a “Super-Fantastic Day,” but she gets sidetracked when a mysterious package appears on her doorstep. It contains a blank book that responds to Polly’s written comments and requests—literally. After she wishes that her bedroom was painted aquarium blue, fish appear swimming along glistening walls; Polly disappears from sight after writing that she likes how playing hide-and-seek makes her feel invisible; and her yearning for a “perfectly palatial” house produces a mansion complete with a waterslide and a crown-shaped bed. The book’s magical power has some cornier repercussions, too: in an incident that would make Amelia Bedelia nod knowingly, instead of a club sandwich, Polly is served a wooden club between two slices of bread. As the narrator’s interior monologue moves at a whirlwind pace, Toledano’s spry cartoons amplify the story’s exuberance, conveying Polly’s imaginary and real lives with humor and affection. Ages 6–9. [em](May) [/em]