Unsurprisingly, Pip Bartlett’s is far removed from Stiefvater’s previous works, considering that it’s for a different age group and it’s a coauthor project. The writing style isn’t the ornate, lyrical prose that I’ve grown used to at all. The writing’s perfectly suited to the story and the audience, but it’s definitely a change.
The tone also is a big change. Where Stiefvater’s stuff tends to be dark, though not without humor, and I believe Pearce’s does too, Pip Bartlett’s is all fun. Silly jokes, sometimes even gross ones about purple sweat, abound. The animals are the real bringers of the humor, because each creature that these two authors have created has its own strange and hilarious quirks. I particularly love the grumpy Griffin and the paranoid unicorn, Regent Maximus. The fuzzles are even endearing despite their lack of communication and unfortunate tendency to burn things.
Plot-wise, Stiefvater and Pearce do a really nice job talking about nature, the environment, and ecosystems without hitting the readers over the head with a narrative hammer. After Pip gets sent to her aunt for the summer to learn the proper way of interacting with magical creatures, she gets involved in the fuzzle puzzle. Their little town in southern Georgia is overrun with fuzzy little, dust-eating creatures that love underwear drawers and catch on fire. Yeah, it’s a problem. Pip acts like a little biologist and updates her guide with new information throughout.
Pip Bartlett’s will be ideal for the intended audience, which shouldn’t be a surprise. I think they’ll really bond with the inquisitive Pip and will adore the adorable creatures. Even the creatures I wouldn’t want to encounter look and sound awesome. Let’s be real, it’s fun to imagine unicorns and griffins existing even as an adult.
What Left Me Wanting More:
There could be a bit more character development, but I think it's really great for the intended age group. I know I would have loved it as a child.
The Final Verdict:
I don’t know if the rest of you guys do this, but I actually read about half of the book aloud to myself, and it really enhanced my reading experience. The characters really lend themselves well to that kind of presentation, and I especially enjoyed reading Regent Maximus. Whether silent or aloud, Pip Bartlett’s is worth a read if you’re still completely fascinated by magical creatures.