Marigold lives in magical Brambly- crumbly with her parents, baby sister, and talking pet dragon, Lightning, and she has a number of problems. There’s the star over her head that has everyone convinced Marigold is “marked for greatness” and that has recently begun blinking, but Marigold doesn’t seem great at anything. She’s too frightened to even do a basic invisibility or flying spell, and her new sister steals all the attention at home. After Marigold loses her wand, she finds herself in the dangerous human world, with only the aid of a spell book from Granny Cabbage to help her discover her magic power and locate her wand before its missing status destroys Bramblycrumbly. Marigold makes friends with wonderful ease, a talent she dismisses until her quest reveals how powerful a gift it truly is. Delightfully imaginative characters populate the story, including a troll who knits and a friendless shadow boy. Vivid details in both the text and accompanying art bring Marigold’s magical world to life in this cheerful adventure by Primavera (I’m a Baked Potato!) that celebrates friendship and kindness. Ages 8–12. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (June)
This gentle fantasy will probably appeal most to primary-grade kids who are proficient readers and middle-graders who enjoy adventure stories softened by a sense of coziness and the near certainty of a happy ending.
Gr 3–6—Marigold lives in a land where everyone has magical abilities. Unfortunately, she has yet to master simple spells like flying and turning invisible. A star floats above her head, signaling that she is marked for greatness, but the only thing she is good at is making friends. When Marigold accidently makes her wand disappear, she utters a spell that brings her to the terrifying, forbidden human world. There she is invisible to everyone except the unfriendliest girl in the world, who is fearlessly adept at conjuring magic with Marigold's wand. In her quest to retrieve it, Marigold meets two others who can see her: an incredibly shy boy who thinks she is a superhero, and a girl who wants to run away from home. Together, they brave the Spookety Forest and confront Super Scary Shadow Boy. Meanwhile, friends from Marigold's world seep into the human world, a sure sign that disaster is imminent unless she gets her wand back. As the quest continues, Marigold helps her human friends overcome their problems and they help her gain the confidence she needs to produce magic. Readers will be able to relate to the engaging characters. When Marigold returns home, the discovery of her special power makes sense and provides a satisfying conclusion. VERDICT A pleasant general purchase for fantasy readers who enjoy friendship stories.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
An upbeat little girl embarks on a quest to discover her magical power.
Marigold Star quite literally has "a star above her head," a "sure sign," according to her parents, that she's "marked for greatness." While gregarious Marigold makes friends easily, she has problems. She hasn't mastered flying or invisibility, she keeps misplacing her magic wand, a new baby sister has disrupted her home life, and her star is blinking. She seeks advice from Granny Cabbage, who urges Marigold to discover her magical power and warns her to never let her wand fall into human hands. After her wand vanishes during a failed spell, Marigold invokes another spell to make her invisible to all but one special friend who needs her the most. Instantly, Marigold finds herself in the Human World, invisible to all except Winnie, a nasty, friendless girl who has Marigold's wand and refuses to return it—which threatens to trap Marigold in the Human World. Nevertheless, Marigold befriends Winnie as well as other friendless kids and creatures she encounters as she tries to regain her wand. Somehow Primavera succeeds in writing a preternaturally good protagonist who is nevertheless likable, and although she flirts with the twee throughout, she never succumbs to it. Black-and-white illustrations capture Marigold's whimsical friends, both magical and human; she and Winnie present white, but illustrations suggest some secondary characters of color.
A humorous, affirming middle-grade fantasy extolling friendships (especially imaginary ones). (Fantasy. 8-12)