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Mary Hammack
Iadore & Ilove
Mary Hammack, author
Ilove She is never really happy. She always feels a little out of place, like she doesn't really belong. Why is she so different? An chance encounter leads her to a magical kingdom where she finds the answers, discovering who she truly is.
The first in Hammack’s Magical Peoples series packs emotion and adventure into old-fashioned fairytale storytelling suitable for all ages. King Roland of Westland is on the verge of war with his twin brother, King Richard of Eastland. To protect his people, Roland moves his entire population to a cavern in the mountains. Unbeknownst to him, he has stumbled onto the land of the fairies. Overcoming her distrust of humans, fairy Queen Gemeenah embraces the new arrivals, explains how they can live in harmony, and sets up a co-equal government with King Roland. When Roland’s queen Isadora delivers a baby girl, Roland exclaims, “I adore you already beyond all words,” inspiring her name: Princess Iadore Daisy. When six-year-old Iadore suffers a fatal injury, Gemeenah revives her with her fairy light, bestowing Iadore with the fairy powers of speaking with animals and making plants grow.

Hammack imbues this gentle story with minimal conflict, focusing instead on magical wonder, love of nature, a righteous king (Roland invents representational democracy!), and the emotional connections between family and friends. The cheerful tone and language are inspired by older bedtime storytelling traditions: “Nectar flowed in all the cups,” Hammock writes, of a celebration. “Every dish of food was devoured. Everyone agreed this was the most joyous festival yet.” Sprinkled throughout are stories about dwarves and giants, other visitors to the fairyland, and Iadore’s distant descendant, a young girl named Ilove, who speaks to the animals and can see fairies. Ilove learns about her ancestry and plays an important role in dispelling a magical enchantment.

With fairytale innocence, broad world building, and scant descriptions, the book allows readers to fill in the blanks with their own imagination. Love and understanding between different races and between children and parents provide a comforting message of compassion and empathy. This simple story of brave and sympathetic characters is suitable for readers of all ages.

Takeaway: A gentle fairytale in the classical mode, suitable for all ages and bursting with magic, fairies, and love.

Great for fans of: Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted, Juliet Mariller.

Production grades:
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: B+
Marketing copy: A-