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Reviewed by J. Aislynn d'Merricksson for Readers' Favorite
In Gateway to Magic by Annabelle Franklin, Steven is drawn into the world of fairy when his cousin convinces him to push a random button in the middle of a forest clearing. In the spirit of most kids just about anywhere, all it took was the bludgeoning force of the dreaded word ‘coward’ to goad him into doing something he knew deep down was a bad idea. Once in Fairyland, Steven’s whole goal is to get back home. He meets a shape changer named Nigel, who becomes an on-again, off-again companion, and has many adventures along the path back home. He's tricked by goblins and nearly eaten by the Constuper, learns the hard way that you can't freeload in life, ends up working for the Fairy Queen, and finally figures out how to return to Earth.
This book was full of good lessons! The Fairy Queen’s lesson about belief is a prime example, and we made it a discussion point with my kids. That lesson? If someone in a position of authority tells us something, we tend to blindly believe it. Also, unconscious beliefs still affect us. Inculcated beliefs instilled in childhood are a prime example. The young girl repeatedly told or shown by her immediate family that she is worthless grows up shaped by that limiting belief and loses a large chunk of personal power. These kinds of beliefs are very hard to break. The heart must believe as well as the head. The Queen also points out that beliefs shape reality, in both good and bad ways.
Gateway to Magic by Annabelle Franklin was a cute, quick read with some valuable lessons within. I shared this book with my little ones, who absolutely loved it. From their point of view it was “awesome.” The author did a wonderful job of painting the scenes, making things very easy to visualise, most especially the Forest of Pointy Fingers! I love it when authors bring a story to life by word-painting, and Franklin doesn't disappoint! Franklin’s Gateway to Magic is perfectly tailored to its target audience, as my brood can well attest. They all loved it, and we’ll be reading it again for sure!