Never Girls

never girls cover

Never Girls #7: A Pinch of Magic

By Kiki Thorpe, Illustrated by Jana Christy


Published by: RH/Disney (July 22, 2014)

Available in: paperback, library binding, Kindle, NOOK

At the time of this review there were eight books in the Never Girls series, with more scheduled in the coming months.


Who wouldn’t want to go to Never Land?

Never Girls #7: A Pinch of Magic is based on the brilliant premise that there’s an angle to the Peter Pan story especially for girls. With a nod to Narnia, four friends have access to that mythical place through one’s closet. In Never Land, the four make friends with fairies, who provide magical adventures.

In this seventh book in the series, there’s an alternating plot that has both the real girls and their fairy counterparts baking sweet concoctions. The stories collide when the fairies are called upon to help the real girls, in the real world. It’s a smart twist: just like Pan had to have his shadow sewed on by Wendy, so our protagonists have to rescue a fairy from the freezer aisle at the grocery store. Kind of funny stuff.

Part Rainbow Magic Fairies, part Pony Pals, this fluffy version of Pan is accompanied by dreamy, soft illustrations. Artist Christy does an excellent job making clear the scale of the real-girl world and the fairy world, and keeping both a timeless quality and a contemporary ambiance.

This might not be the high art of J.M. Barrie, but as a contemporary chapter book, it’s got some serious fairy dust.

What do you say teachers, parents and writers? Use the comment below and let’s chat….

Rainbow Magic Fairies



By Daisy Meadows, Illustrated by Georgie Ripper


Published by: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 25, 2013)

Available in: paperback, library binding, Kindle, NOOK

At the time of this review there were more than 100 books in the Rainbow Magic series and special editions.


Spun Sugar.

The Rainbow Magic series of chapter books are a sweet confection that cater to the young girl who is a voracious reader. There’s glitter and magic and escapism. It’s all a sweet and light adventure.

This mammoth series (more than 100 books) comes with certain comforts, such as Kirsty and Rachel, young girls who are the guides into each tale. Similar to the Magic Tree House series, each book carries a thread of magic forward from previous books, although one can jump in anywhere and not be lost. Each book offers and delivers the same thing: a map to start, a poem, the two main girls, a dependable fairy to appear at just the right time, magic that transforms the girls into fairy size with wings, and a puzzle to help solve. Within the overall framework are specific types of fairies and their stories, such as Ocean Fairies, Pet Fairies, Fashion Fairies, Jewel Fairies and more.

Much like the Bailey School Kids books, this series is not intended to be great literature. This is most definitely about quantity of books rather than quality; about a concept that a big publisher found works and pushes to the extreme; and about giving girly-girls A LOT to read. Those kids who look for more than cotton candy in their reading material won’t be die-hard fans. But for those who can never get enough to read, this is equivalent to a never-ending lollipop of girlish froth.

And, much like the nostalgic series Nancy Drew, the Rainbow Magic series are written by a team of authors who work under the pseudonym of Daisy Meadows (but you knew that wasn’t a real name–right?). Four authors identified as the writers are Narinder Dhami, Sue Bentley, Linda Chapman and Sue Mongredien.

What do you say teachers, parents and writers? Use the comment below and let’s chat….