Review Detail

Magical and fun
(Updated: February 28, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
PIP BARTLETT’S GUIDE TO UNICORN TRAINING is the second book in the Pip Bartlett series. After an accident back home Pip has been sent to spend the summer with her Aunt who owns a magical animal clinic. With a new best friend Thomas, and all the magical animals she could possibly read about, Pip has found a great place to fit in. With the Fuzzle incident cleared up Pip and Thomas move on to their next adventure, Unicorn Training! Even with the ability to talk to animals, Pip is going to have her hands full with this one.


What worked for me:

What I love about Maggie’s book so much was that she brings in this element of friendship that is so unique. Pip and Thomas become quick friends and they work really well together. Thomas is always ready for one of Pip’s ideas. And usually, Pip and Thomas have to come up with some quick ideas to save the day!

After learning that Mr. Henshaw has entered his Unicorn Regent Maximus in the Triple Trident competition, Pip takes it upon herself to train Maximus. With Thomas’ help, Pip comes up with creative ways to get Maximus through each round of the tournament. She works hard and she doesn’t give up no matter what obstacles are thrown at her.

What I love about Pip as a character was her drive. She knew she wants to study animals and nobody will stand in her way. Pip knows that no one believes she can talk to the animals but I loved that she never backed down or didn’t believe herself. She’s a strong character and one that I think a lot of kids will enjoy reading about. The fact that a young girl wants to be a researcher is one of my favorite parts. Not everyone gets it but it matters to Pip and she’ll see it through.

I also loved Pip’s family. Aunt Emma and Callie her cousin. They were both such great characters. Callie never understood Pip’s love for all magical creatures, but she helps her when she needs it. Callie was also hilarious. She cracked me up because she reminded me of what I was like when I was a kid. Everything was always so dramatic. Aunt Emma was also another favorite character of mine. She worked hard and she made Pip feel at home and encouraged her love of animals.

What left me wanting more:

For me, some of the drawings were placed in weird spots or distracted from the story. I think if they were included on the same page as the text then it would have flowed a lot more. Sometimes I would have to turn back and read the last sentence to remember where I was. Despite that, though, I loved that the drawings were included and gave you a glimpse of some of the animals they were talking about. Some of them were weird to picture in your mind so I loved that I could flip the page and see what they looked like.

Overall I thought this was such a great follow-up to the first book in the series. Pip and the cast of characters in these books have been so fun to get to know. They are interesting and fun, most of all Pip is a great lead to this story. She smart and feisty, and she works hard. She knows exactly what she wants in life and she’s willing to work her butt off to get there. The easy flow of this story added with Maggie’s amazing art style this is one book that anyone can enjoy.
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