Later that night, Kristina is woken by a loud buzzing noise. She searches all over until realizing that the noise is coming from the box, which now opens easily. Inside is a mysterious object, which Kristina picks up...
And finds herself outside in bright daylight lying in a pile of leaves. She sees a small, odd-looking man who seems to be gardening. She soon learns that he is a dwarf, and he's the leasy crazy thing she is about to learn. Kristina finds out that she is now in the Land of Bernovem and that she is the "chosen one" destined to return the Magic Warble to its proper place.
Kristina next meets a not-so-nice fairy princess Clover, her brother Looper, and a not-so-charming prince named Werrien. These three are going to help guide her to return the Magic Warble. Unfortunately, the evil Queen Sentiz will do anything to stop her, including sending her son and her monstrous zelbocks after her. To make matters worse, everyone who touched the box, including the bullies on the bus, her babysitter Davina, and her pet rat Raymond, have also been transported to Bernovem. How can Kristina get them home safely while also saving Bernovem?
This was a really cute fantasy novel with touches of Narnia, Hogwarts, and Lord of the Rings in it. Victoria has created her own fully fleshed land with all manner of creatures in it - both familiar and not. I have to say my favorite thing about the novel were the gorgeous illustrations. They really made the story come alive for me. I know that my young cousin is very reluctant to read anything without illustrations, so this book will be right up her alley. My only criticisms are that sometimes the children's speech was a little awkward for their age and that the bullies didn't get enough of a comeuppance for my tastes. All in all, this was a very enjoyable read. I wanted to sit and read it all at once, but unfortunately the baby had his own opinions on what I should be reading and when. There is no real violence or any profanity, so I would recommend this book for 5th graders and up. It would also make a great read-aloud with younger kids.
Thanks so much for Victoria for giving me this book to read, and for being so patient with me when my review was continuously delayed.
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