Wednesday, May 20, 2020

61. The Fabled Stables: Willa the Wisp

The Fabled Stables: Willa the Wisp. Jonathan Auxier. Illustrated by Olga Demidova. 2020. [October] 96 pages. [Source: Review copy] [j fantasy]

First sentence: At the Top of the World Sat an Island. And at the heart of that island lived a boy named Auggie.

Premise/plot: Auggie, the stable boy, works for Professor Cake. He's the only boy on the island, and, he gets a bit lonely for a playmate. Fen, his stick-in-the-mud sidekick, IS decidedly not a boy. But his job taking care of super-unique and amazing animals is awesome. In this first book in a new chapter book series, readers meet one of those animals, Willa the Wisp.

My thoughts: I'm conflicted between four stars and five stars. I'm leaning towards five stars because I really love, love, love, love, love, love Auxier's books. I've read The Night Gardener about six or seven times now. And I'm working my way through a second or third rereading of his other books. (Sophie the Squire; Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes). I love his writing, his characters, his stories. But it might be closer to a four star read in some ways. It is the first in a series. It is really setting things up. There is perhaps more set-up than adventure. Though the half with adventure, I think would be entertaining for little ones.

I am excited that a younger audience will get to enjoy Auxier's storytelling. I am excited to see what other animals and beasts we will be meeting in the future. I am excited to get to know more about this island and Auggie.


© 2020 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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