Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're exploring a selection from the younger readers set with a Children's title that is chock full of imagination and magical possibility. It's not for every reader (but then again what book truly is no matter how much we wish it to be) but I do believe little ones will delight in the adventure we're about to embark on. Ladies and gents, today's book of choice is...
The Adventures of Mophie and Picholas
Joseph & Anthony Pandolfi
About the book...
Aside from their kind of unusual names, Mophie and Picholas are pretty much your average 6 year old girl and 3 year old boy, who live in a pretty average house, in a pretty average town. But outside of their town, well nothing is pretty average at all. For example, just a hop, skip and a jump away is a wonderful place called the Kingdom of the Magic Horses. And way down the river is the Kingdom of Bongo Bongo, ruled over by the meaner than mean, crueler than cruel, rottener than rotten Queen Blunderpuss. She has super magic powers, a lot of hang-ups, and a big bully of a nephew, Bobby, who is very happy helping her try to make everyone else very unhappy! With the aid of their special friend, Sylvester (an excellent and devoted dragon if ever there was one), Mophie and Picholas go from one adventure to another, battling the Blunderpusses, as well as assorted other not-very-nice characters.
In Book 1, can evil Queen Blunderpuss and Bobby take a happy event like a day at the park, and turn it into a gigantic, yucky disaster? Will Mophie and Picholas find a way to outwit the despicable duo? Will Dad ever resume breathing normally after discovering that his children are friends with a dragon? Come along, and let's find out!
Usually with a story this short, I'll take it upon myself to outline everything in my review. This time, I opted for some assistance as there is actually quite a bit we're introduced to in this first installment of the Mopie and Picholas series.
As you read above, the story puts Mophie and Picholas at the center of it all as they try to have a fun day at the park. Well, the Blunderpuss' will have none of that and do everything in their power to rain on their parade...well, short of actually RAINING on their day that is (not that I'm giving them any ideas). Thanks to two quick thinking kids, the dragon they befriended, and parents that are much more open minded than yours (probably) or mine, all is not lost...or at least it shouldn't be. *ahem* (I can't ruin the story for you; sorry!) It's a day trip turned fairytale turned good vs not-so-good as this unlikely group comes together showing you just what can be accomplished when you put your mind to it.
The characters are an interesting bunch. I mean, first and foremost the names alone give one pause. How the authors came up with those names, I couldn't begin to guess. They don't exactly roll off the tongue but they are memorable nonetheless, serving their purpose. Of course, one can't remark on the stars of this cast without mentioning Sylvester...the DRAGON. Yep, the dragon. He's a key piece to this puzzle being solved and apparently a wonderful friend (who'd have known!).
Aside from the curious collection of characters, and the brief yet fun and morally enhanced story, we have the illustrations. As I understand it, they are drawn by a young lady in high school that dreams of one day pursuing a career in fashion design. That certainly explains her attention to detail in the outfits throughout the story. (Love the ruffles on the little girl's skirt and the two-tone shirt that Picholas wears!) While not something to write home about per se, they work well enough for the story and I do believe may inspire some young artists indulging in the tale. One of those if-they-can-do-it-I-can-do-it moments.
All in all, it was a fun read. The story was curious but with a good heart at its core. It'll be interesting to see what their further adventures bring us as there is much to build off of in this tale alone. Review copy received courtesy of Joseph Pandolfi. (THANKS!) For more information on this adventure as well as those forthcoming, feel free to connect with the authors on Facebook and Twitter. This title is available now, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
Until next time...happy reading!