This Side of Magic: Keyholders
Debbie Dadey & Marcia Thornton Jones
Starscape, 2009 (2009)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
ebbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones, creators of the bestselling
Bailey School Kids
now bring young readers (aged 7-10) their new
series, beginning with
This Side of Magic
est friends Luke and Penny live on the last street of Morgantown, beside mysterious dark woods where no-one goes - it's not discussed but everyone just knows it's forbidden. They're often pestered by Natalie, '
the nosiest girl in their class
', who watches everything and records what she sees in a bright pink notebook.
hen Luke's next-door neighbor, Mr. Leery, has to go away for a few days, he asks the duo to look after his talking cat Mo ('
one of the ugliest cats they'd ever seen
') and '
look out for
'. He gives each of them a silver bracelet with a key charm, emphasizing that these will provide
hile Mr. Leery's away an odd, knobby-kneed, buck-teethed, big-eared boy (initially wearing a pink tutu) appears, shows up everywhere, and causes trouble.
hen Mr. Leery returns, he explains what's going on beyond the bushes and enlists three new
, each of whom is assigned a
to the magical world - a small dragon, a unicorn with attitude and a rat in a hurry.
hile this first episode is mostly exposition - along with often funny banter - it sets the scene nicely for the second adventure in this magical chapter book series,
The Other Side of Magic
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