Marshmallow reviews The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook by Media Lab Books

Marshmallow began this blog with a review of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling. So it was only natural that eventually she would come back to one of her favorite fictional worlds: the magical world of Harry Potter. This week she tells us about a fun book she has been carrying around with her for a while now: The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook: A Complete Guide to Every Spell in the Wizarding World by Media Lab Books.

Marshmallow reviews The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook: A Complete Guide to Every Spell in the Wizarding World, by Media Lab Books.
Marshmallow reviews The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook: A Complete Guide to Every Spell in the Wizarding World, by Media Lab Books.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you liked the Harry Potter series, or more generally if you like books about magic, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary: This is not really a typical book. It is an amazing guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Every single spell that you heard in the movies or read about in the books, even the ones that are barely mentioned, are included in this book. It also lists where the spell or charm was used or mentioned, whether in the books, the movies, the video games, or somewhere else.  Each entry describes the gestures you need to perform the spell and how to pronounce the incantation. On top of that, it also has the different wand cores and woods. Also it tells you which wand types the main characters had. It also informs the reader about Enchanted Objects like the Goblet of Fire and Candy. 

The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook is great for bunnies who want to learn the spells that are used by the wizards and witches in the Harry Potter world. It also teaches the reader more about the World of Harry Potter. My favorite spell in the book is “Dragonifors”.

Dragonifors
Type: Transfiguration
Use: Turns small objects into dragons
Etymology: In Latin, draco means “dragon” and forma means “shape”
Magic Moment: Minerva McGonagall teaches this spell in third-year Transfiguration class
Note: This spell is only seen in the Prisoner of Azkaban video game.
Produces much smaller, less powerful creatures than true dragons.

Marshmallow is reading her favorite spells in The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook: A Complete Guide to Every Spell in the Wizarding World, by Media Lab Books.
Marshmallow is reading her favorite spells in The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook: A Complete Guide to Every Spell in the Wizarding World, by Media Lab Books.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a very good book that is meant for Harry Potter fans. The comments in the book like “Swish and Flick” remind you of the movies. It has every spell and is very interesting to read. The comments on the back are also very interesting.

Who needs The Standard Book of Spells when you have this?

Horace Belby,  former Hogwarts student

The book does not tell us a new story from the Harry Potter world, but it is a book you would expect to see at Hogwarts, similar to the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander (which was of course actually written by J.K. Rowling). This book also contains incantations from that story.

Readers of this blog might recall that my very first review was of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. So obviously I am a Harry Potter fan. Years ago, I began trying to write a notebook on the Wizarding World. I wrote down a lot of things, but I got stuck on the spells. This book was exactly what I needed!

Marshmallow’s rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook: A Complete Guide to Every Spell in the Wizarding World, by Media Lab Books, 100%.
Marshmallow rates The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook: A Complete Guide to Every Spell in the Wizarding World, by Media Lab Books, 100%.

Marshmallow reviews The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd

Marshmallow reviews The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd.

Marshmallow often enjoys reading books about young people with interesting powers. Today she reviews The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd.

Marshmallow reviews The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd.
Marshmallow reviews The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like books about magic and fate, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s summary (with spoilers): Emma Pearl Casey is part of a unique family. Every girl in her family has a Destiny Dream, in which they see what their purpose in life is and what their mark in history will be. The Destiny Dreams appear to them, and then they follow their destiny. 

“For Emma, her own Destiny Dream can’t come soon enough. Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she’d do whatever it took to fulfill her Destiny, and she doesn’t want to let her mother down.”

https://natalielloyd.com/books/the-key-to-extraordinary/

In her Destiny Dream, Emma sees a field of flowers. In the middle of the field there is a bundle of flowers, a violet, a daisy, and a rose. In the bundle she sees a key. Different people see different things in their Destiny Dreams. For example, Daphne Prescott, another member of her family, saw in the field of blue flowers a mirror, and in the mirror, she saw herself holding a sign saying, “WOMEN GET THE RIGHT TO VOTE!” and an American flag. 

The Destiny Dreams do not come at a certain age. Daphne Prescott got her dream when she was seventy-four, and Emma has hers when she is twelve. 

Some Destiny Dreams are clearer than others. Emma’s is confusing.  

Emma lives next to a graveyard and her family owns a café, called Boneyard Café. They are famous for a special drink called the Boneyard Brew. It has the mysterious ability to make people feel hopeful. The secret magical ingredient is revealed before the end of the book. 

While Emma is trying to make sense of her mysterious dream, a man named Warren Steele comes to buy their town. Eventually she realizes that her destiny is to find the Conductor’s treasure, and I can’t tell you what that is without spoiling things. The bad news is that Warren Steele also wants the treasure. 

Who do you think will get it first? And what is the treasure? 

Marshmallow is reading The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd.
Marshmallow is reading The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd.

Marshmallow’s review: This is an interesting book. It is a little eerie and is sort of scary, but it is still a good book. I think that it is more appropriate for kids eight and up because it is a little confusing at times. But all in all, it is a great read. 

I like this book because it has an interesting plot and has interesting events. In the book they sometimes have Gypsy Rose summers. Apparently, these occur very rarely. In a Gypsy Rose summer, rose petals start to fall from the sky. The theory in the book is that the spirits are trying to get the people’s attention. (This is not a real phenomenon, nor is it a known legend. I looked it up.)

The author Natalie Lloyd did a good job of making the book an exciting read that will make everyone wonder what the treasure of the Conductor is and who the Conductor is to begin with. 

Happy Reading!

Marshmallow’s rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd 95%.
Marshmallow rates The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd 95%.

Marshmallow reviews Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins

Marshmallow reviews Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins.

Marshmallow got a couple books from the Upside-Down Magic series at a book fair on her school campus and read them over and over for a while now. Below she reviews the first book in the series: Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins.

Marshmallow reviews Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins.
Marshmallow reviews Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like books about people who are different from others, and if you like magic, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s summary (with spoilers): Nory Horace (Eleanor Horace) is the daughter of the schoolmaster of Sage Academy, so when she fails to get into the Academy, she and her father are very disappointed. Instead Nory goes to another school, Dunwiddle Magic School. 

In this book everybody has magic. They can either have the ability to light fires (a Flare), the ability to make friends with animals (a Fluffy), the ability to transform into animals  (a Fluxer), the ability to fly (a Flyer), or the ability to make oneself and other things invisible (a Flicker). You get your magic when you are ten. You don’t get to choose your magic. You find out what you are when you are ten.

Nory finds out that she has the ability to transform into animals, but unlike most people with that ability, she transforms into animals that are half and half, like a kitten that has dragon wings (a “dritten”) and a puppy that has squid legs. You get the idea.

Marshmallow is reading Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins.
Marshmallow is reading Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins.

Nory’s friend Elliot, instead of creating fire, freezes objects. Andres can fly much higher than an average kid who is a Flyer, but he can’t come down. Instead of transforming into live animals, Bax turns into inanimate objects like rocks or pianos. Pepper is the opposite of the type of person who makes friends with animals; instead she terrifies all animals, including humans transformed into animals. Marigold is like a type of Flicker; she makes things shrink. Willa can make it rain indoors. Sebastian can see sound waves.

This is the full class of the Upside-Down Magic class, for kids who do not have typical magic, or as they like to call it, kids who have upside-down magic. 

In their classroom, lessons are unconventional, students are unpredictable, and magic has a tendency to turn wonky at the worst possible moments. Because it’s always amazing, the trouble a little wonky magic can cause . .

https://www.sarahm.com/upside-down-magic

Nory has an exciting time in this class. 

Marshmallow’s review: This book is the first of a series of six, a hexalogy like Soman Chainani‘s School for Good and Evil series.(See my review of the fourth book here and the fifth here.) So far in the series I only read a couple, but I really enjoyed this first book. It shows how tough it is to be different from others, but how sometimes it can also be beautiful and unique and that you can enjoy being unique. For example, Nory eventually likes turning into a dritten. Being different can also be hard though. Elliot has some friends (Lacey, Zinnia, and Rune) that tease him because he freezes objects instead of burning them. They are very mean. 

Marshmallow’s rating: 90%. 

Marshmallow ranks Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins 90%.
Marshmallow ranks Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins 90%.

Marshmallow reviews Five Children and It by E. Nesbit

Marshmallow reviews Five Children and It, a novel by Edith Nesbit first published in 1902.

Marshmallow wanted to talk about E. Nesbit’s book Five Children and It today. Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

Marshmallow reviews Five Children and It by E. Nesbit.
Marshmallow reviews Five Children and It by E. Nesbit.

Sprinkles: So Marshmallow can you tell us a bit about this book?

Marshmallow: Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane, and Lamb the baby dig a hole to reach Australia. While they are digging, they find a strange creature called Psammead (a sand-fairy) that can grant wishes. At the beginning, the children wish to be as beautiful as the day and to have a lot of gold but then they realize that they must be more careful when they are making wishes. Whenever they make a wish, they always end up in trouble.

S: Oh, does this book remind you of another?

M: It’s kind of similar to Half Magic by Edward Eager. Just like in that book, the children find this object or fairy that grants them wishes and they eventually find that they need to think carefully about what they will wish for.

S: So what more can you tell us?

M: This is an interesting book that will beg the question, “If you could wish for anything. what would you wish for?”

I thoroughly enjoyed reading it because it was interesting how when the children wished for something like to be beautiful or when they wished to have wings, there was a problem. For example, when they wished to be “as beautiful as the day” after they tried to interact with their baby brother Lamb (whose real and full name is Hilary St. Maul Devereux). They then change and Lamb does not recognize them because they look different. Also when they try to go to their house their nursemaid does not let them in because they look different and not like their old selves. They get very hungry and thirsty and they realize that it was not a great idea to have wished to be “as beautiful as the day.”

S: What more do you want to say?

M: This is a very entertaining book, and very well written. It will make you want to read on to learn what wish the children make next.

S: Yes, they do make some strange wishes, don’t they? What did you think of the illustrations?

M: I thought the pictures were very successful.

Marshmallow is pointing out one of the many illustrations in Five Children and It by E. Nesbit.
Marshmallow is pointing out one of the many illustrations in Five Children and It by E. Nesbit.

S: And you have some thoughts on the characters?

M: Yes! Especially I liked the fact that the children act like children. Kind of like in the Ivy + Bean books!

S: This is a very old book. It could be the oldest book you have read. What do you think of that?

M: It is an old book. It does have some stereotypes, like girls always cry, and boys never do. But overall it is a good book.

S: Ok, so what would you have wished for if you had met Psammead?

M: I don’t know. What would you wish for?

S: I don’t know, either. It is a hard question, without all the challenges this particular sand-fairy brings. Maybe I’d wish for some good meal, or a good night’s sleep. Something simple like that… Or I could wish for a good book to read. This was one, you say?

M: Yes! I’d rate it 95%. And I really want to add this last sentence: Stay tuned for more book bunnies reviews!

Marshmallow rates Five Children and It by E. Nesbit 95%.
Marshmallow rates Five Children and It by E. Nesbit 95%.