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Reviewed by Carmen Tenorio for Readers' Favorite
Sarah Maghsoodlooei's book Magical Suitcase, which she both wrote and illustrated, is about Amelie, a slightly impetuous youngster who thinks that going to see her grandparents is boring in comparison to the vacations and travels her classmates will be taking to more interesting locations like theme parks. She found, to her astonishment, an old, friendly, and talking magical suitcase with interesting stickers that her dad had mentioned. The suitcase transformed into Amelie's new best friend and helped change her perspective by taking her to spectacular places and enabling her to do a wide range of incredibly delightful activities. Most importantly, the magical suitcase enabled Amelie to see the joy her grandparents have with the excitement of her family's planned visit. This made her realize that things aren't as bad as she thought they were. Amelie is ever grateful to the magical suitcase for changing her mind and giving her the best magical ride of her imagination that she will never forget.
Magical Suitcase can be an effective tool for inspiring kids to be imaginative and creative, especially if they become bored. For kids, traveling isn't always enjoyable, and even more so if they anticipate or believe that they won't be having fun. It is always a good idea that children be acknowledged, listened to, and given a chance to feel that they are involved. The various travel stickers on the old suitcase piqued Amelie's interest and started a sensory exploration in her mind that stimulated her imagination, and widened her perspective. She realized that things won't be as dreary or boring as they look when you have an old suitcase that has traveled well and has earned its badges and stickers from the places that it has seen. Author Sarah Maghsoodlooei uses simple conversational language that appeals to young readers, enabling them to fully comprehend and appreciate the charming and stunning visuals as well as positive messages such as creativity, empathy, consideration, and understanding for both the child and grown-up. This book is recommended as a read-along book for Emergent to Beginning readers or children 3 to 7 years old.