Guide/Reviews Database
Auxier, Jonathan

Willa the Wisp

(2) 1-3 Fabled Stables series. Illustrated by Olga Demidova. "At the top of the world sat an island. And at the heart of that island lived a boy named Auggie." So begins this early chapter book full of magical creatures, puzzling situations, and playful nonsense. Auggie's job on the island is to take care of all the one-of-a-kind creatures at the Fabled Stables, such as the Long-Beaked Curmudgeon and the Yawning Abyss. Auggie has a unique rapport with animals as well as a Horn of Plenty that produces the appropriate food for each creature on command. He's helped by a "stick-in-the-mud" named Fen, who begrudgingly mucks out the stalls. One day, the stables magically expand to make room for a new creature: a wisp. Unfortunately, the wisp needs to be rescued before it can move in, and adventures ensue. Plentiful illustrations with small bursts of text on the pages make for a high-energy story full of twists and turns. Many mysteries around the nature of the island and its inhabitants remain unsolved, including the motivations of Professor Cake, the island's owner. "He was very old and very clever. He collected things that were one-of-a-kind. Things like Auggie." Great for reading aloud, this lively first entry in a projected series offers a curious setting and an imaginative cast of characters.


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