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Book Review- The Magical World of Sebella: Legend of Halloween by Thea Berg

In honor of Halloween, the littlest J and I read Legend of Halloween, the second book in Thea Berg's The Magical World of Sebella series. Sebella and her crew, Prudence, Kendall, and Drac, live in a magical world adjacent to our own. For the most part they are ordinary kids, they bicker, turn ther noses up at fancy food, and adore Shirley Temples (I mean, who doesn't?) What sets them apart is that, well, they're magic. And even though they live in our world, the world of magic is as close as the Black Hat Cafe, a local establishment run by magical folks like themselves. The day before Halloween Sebella and the gang find themselves at the Black Cat Cafe where Grandma is treating them to a special dinner, complete with Shirley Temples and cookies for dessert. The conversation turns to a spooky legend: The Three Little Werewolves. According to legend, the three little werewolves must howl into the night sky simultaneously for Halloween to begin. Without them there would be no Halloween without Halloween there'd be no candy!! What could be worse? Their dinner is doubly interrupted-- first when Kendall, who has a talent for seeing the future, has a vision that Halloween is in serious danger this year, then when Grandma disappears from the restaurant. Sebella, Kendall, Prudence, and Drac must venture through a magical portal in search of Grandma, knowing all the while that it may be up to them to save Halloween. This is where we see Sebella's strength, i.e., helping others with her magic. My 6 year old is a newly independent reader and he very much enjoyed reading this book aloud to me. He gasped at some moments and chuckled at others, and we had a very interesting conversation about "boy" costumes vs. "girl" costumes when a little monster named Fred needed a disguise at one point in the story. All in all, the story was well-suited to my 6 year old's interest and reading level and he enjoyed it very much, although I think that a few well-placed illustrations would have made it even more accessible for most 6-8 year old readers. Small details like the relationship between Sebella and her little brother Drac made the book relatable, and the description of the candy garden left my 6 year-old drooling. 4 stars

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