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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Magic Wanda: Grandma's Closet, Book 3 is a children’s fantasy picture book written by Lois Wickstrom and illustrated by Francie Mion. When Carrie opened the long, flat box with the name Wandas on the side, which she discovered in her grandmother’s closet, she wondered just what a wanda was. Carrie figured that Grandma would have to know. As she lifted out what appeared to be artificial flowers, she found herself wishing they were real. Grandma told her that they were magic wandas, and, no, they shouldn’t be put in water as one would living flowers. Carrie was nervous about the party her mom was hosting that afternoon, and she hoped that the magical wandas would help her get through it. Grandma assured Carrie that she would be there, and they would all have fun together. Then Carrie lifted out the wanda that looked like a lily. She was surprised to feel the flower tickling her, and then she heard a voice demanding that Carrie put her down. Wandas, you see, are not things; they’re magical girls, and they couldn’t have chosen a better time to come into Carrie’s life.
Lois Wickstrom’s Magic Wanda celebrates the closeness of a child and her grandmother, and the gift of the magical wandas that have been passed down from the elder to the younger. Wickstrom’s magical wandas are tantalizing in their potential from the very start as the adventure-loving Lily Wanda takes Carrie on a journey she couldn’t have envisioned was possible. I especially loved how all this magic was happening as Carrie’s mom was busy getting ready for her party, a party Carrie feels intimidated by. Francie Mion’s pen and wash illustrations are marvelous; they lend a classic atmosphere to the tale, and her depictions of the Wandas are inspired. Each panel is beautifully drawn and colored, and they work to enhance the magical nature of the story. Magic Wanda: Grandma's Closet, Book 3 is most highly recommended.