Maggie Sparks and the Monster Baby

Sweet Cherry. Mar. 2022. 112p. pap. $6.99. ISBN 9781782267768.
Gr 1-3–Take a familiar story of a sibling who is jealous of a new baby, infuse it with a little magic, pair it with fantastic illustrations, and the result is a winsome story that will engage young readers. Maggie, who just happens to be able to perform magic, is loved and adored by her two parents and her wizard grandpa. However, life takes a turn when her parents go “to the hospital to swap Mom’s big tummy for a baby.” Why would they want a baby when they have her? Her life is turned upside down when baby brother Alfie arrives home. Hernando’s expressive illustrations show just how Maggie feels when her parents show off a screaming, stinky monster who seems to delight everyone else. After some magical scheming, an important lesson, and a fun twist, things come to a sweet conclusion. Charming family portraits show Maggie, Alfie, and her mother with brown skin and curly black hair, while Dad and Grandpa have pale skin and lighter hair.
VERDICT A delightfully magical take on a familiar situation, enhanced by pitch-perfect illustrations. Recommended for all early chapter book collections.

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