Full of heart and positivity, this is an uplifting and enchanting book about the power of friendship set in a dream world that’s sure to delight anyone looking to add a bit of magic to their own life– there’s plenty in the striking illustrations from Marion Strunck. Still, while the book centers on friendship, most of the bonding between Niah and Mayson happens in text descriptions on a couple pages, which diminishes the impact of Niah’s absence, since readers don’t actually see the friendship in action all that much, outside of a charming illustration of the two girls astride Niah’s unicorn, Squigs. (The marvelous Squigs exemplifies Strunck's skill at designing characters.)
Nonetheless, the combination of the vibrant colors and characters, including animals and diverse young girls, the playful font choice (though the denser passages sometimes demand some squinting), and an earnest message makes Niah’s Magic an engaging read, especially for those looking for a reminder of the simple magic all around us. Niah’s vividly rendered dream land is worth returning to over and over again for a chance to see the beaming, pink-winged Squigs and the delightful treehouse that has four entrances.
Takeaway: This colorful, whimsical adventure about the power of friendship will enchant young and old readers.
Great for fans of: Roisin Swales’s Big Hid, Samantha Berger’s What If….
Design and typography: B
Marketing copy: A-