Title: Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures (Pip Bartlett #1)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
“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.”
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Now, not being a younger child, I definitely felt older while reading this book geared towards middle grade readers. But the story was cute enough that I easily got drawn in and it didn't take long before I found myself rooting for young Pip.
Pip Bartlett could talk to magical creatures, but no one believed her. So after a mishap with some rather narcissistic unicorns she was sent to stay with her Aunt for a while. Of course nothing could possibly go astray when you send a girl who could talk to magical creatures to a veterinary office for said beasts.
Pip Bartlett's Guide To Magical Creatures was a light, cute story that was well written and full of illustrations that could have indeed been lifted from a magical creature guide book. There were moments of humor and danger as tensions mounted. The little fire balls had to be the cutest dangerous little things I've seen in a while.
The characters were wonderful. Though, I will admit, if I didn't read the blurb, I wouldn't have realized Pip was a girl for several chapters until someone said "she." Pip was fun, cute, and I loved her from the start.
Her new friend Tomas was just as fun, and he was determined to make me laugh with all the things he was allergic to. (Though I keep having Gansey flashbacks to the Maggie Steifvater's other book series The Raven Cycle and immediately felt horrid for laughing at the humor.)
But I think it was the secondary, beast characters who really stole the show. A unicorn scared of anything and everything? You might think that'd be annoying, but I don't think I've laughed that hard in a long time reading half the stuff he said. Tiny little fire ball creatures with a penchant for underwear drawers and the defense mechanism of bursting into flames when stressed or emotional? Love them. But please critters, stay our of my house and out of my underwear drawer.
Pip Bartlett's Guide To Magical Creatures was a collaboration piece between two authors, but at no point does it feel like it was penned by more than one person. Even if you are an older reader like me, if you enjoy middle grade books and fantasy books, than check out this series.