Farkas examines bravery, confidence, and perseverance in her debut. There is a little town where the townsfolk love nothing more than to count to five. One night the Evil, Mean, Mad Magician sneaks into the town and steals the magical number three. Only the strongest, bravest, smartest person can journey to the magician’s castle in the town and bring the number back. When a little girl says she has all the qualities, the townsfolk send her to get the number back. But getting it back is not as easy as it seems. Cleverly constructed storyline and child-appropriate prose (“But one night, while they were sleeping, the Evil, Mean,/ Mad Magician snuck into their town. He tippy-toed,/ tippy-toed until he reached the hall where the numbers/ were kept.”) add up to chaotic tale that both entertains as well as emphasizes basic counting skills and digit identification. The cute unnamed protagonist, quirky townsfolk, and the Evil, Mean, Mad Magician as the antagonist provide an appealing cast of characters. Sakshi Mangal’s electric, brightly-hued illustrations are fun, bringing the whimsey of the story out. Young readers, particularly little girls, will ask for a reread again and again. This is a winner.
Categories: children's fiction