I want to go to Polly Diamond’s Super Stunning Spectacular School Fair with its magic carpets, Pop-Open-A-Book-Corn and face painting that turns you into the thing you created on your face – from fairies to squirrels and wizards and dragons, particularly dragons.
Polly Diamond and the Super Stunning Spectacular School Fair is the second book by Alice Kuiper ($18.69, Raincoast Books, Chronicle Books) featuring Polly, who loves to read and write and use her imagination to ask Spell, her magic book, to turn everyday experiences into super ones.
Sometimes I found Polly to be a bit too much as she explained such things as a palindrome (a word that can be spelt backwards and forwards. Saying that, I did bookmark the page to share Polly’s examples with my son, who was recently coming up with his own palindromes, although we didn’t know there was a name for it. I also didn’t know palindromes could be more than one word.) And being excited about similes and words in general. It’s not that I don’t think young children can be excited by words and dictionaries, I just found the presentation and enthusiasm over the top.
But I love that Polly is distracted and forgetful and that her parents are constantly reminding her to stop and think and retrace her steps to find out what she has lost – including Spell. Because even fun things like the Spectacular School Fair have to stop eventually. I love Polly’s imagination and how everything about the book fair is about books, stories and celebrating creativity.
I also love that Polly talks about her favourite books, many of which I have read including Winnie the Witch by Valerie Thomas, Ivy+Bean by Annie Barrows and How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell (as a side note, I like the movies and TV show better than the book, which is an unusual occurrence). And of course there is Spell, a magic book that takes everything literally. Everyone needs a Spell in their life.
I interviewed Kuiper about the first Polly Diamond book. Read that interview here.
A copy of this book was provided by Raincoast Books for an honest review.
The opinions are my own.