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Reviewed by Donna Gielow McFarland for Readers' Favorite
What do a child’s figments of imagination (commonly known as imaginary friends or cozies) do when they’re not busy amusing the child? The Cozies: The Legend of Operation Moonlight by T.L. Fischer is a one-of-a-kind tale. Thursby, a five-inch-tall cozy with a head like a black English lop rabbit, who is very proud of his green cutaway coat, is the keynote speaker at a multiple-day conference. He tells an amazing story. The main characters are a baby nicknamed Bingo and his cozies: Thursby, the highly dramatic Musetta, Gubbins, a figment made of spare parts and who speaks in ticks and whirrs, a pair of inseparable twins with wings, and Rumple, an elephant-type figment who can’t talk. Small children and animals can see and hear the cozies, but to adults they are invisible. As figments, cozies cannot generally affect the real world. They can smell the flowers, but not pluck them. So when the cozies witness a horrible crime in the nursery, these figments of imagination have to use every bit of their own imaginations to devise a way to communicate what they know to someone who can help. It’s a wild ride!
Maybe it’s just because Thursby has the head of an English lop rabbit, but the story of The Cozies felt very British to me. It’s a little, but only a little, reminiscent of Winnie-the-Pooh, Peter Pan and Toy Story, but the cozies have a larger challenge because they can’t be seen or heard. T.L. Fischer’s language in The Cozies is beautiful and rich and descriptive, and sometimes has a little French thrown in, so the reading level is definitely more advanced than many children’s chapter books. For example: “Specks of raindrop-befuddled light blended shades of gray with the verdant hues of tree tops in the garden...” The setting at the conference is very funny, but it’s very sophisticated humor. Fischer’s world-building is superb and the reader gradually learns everything needed to understand how cozies originate and what their limitations are. There is adventure, danger, mystery and suspense in this creative and highly detailed nursery tale. The story told by Thursby in The Cozies could be overly confusing for small children, but their moms will love it!