4 out of 4 stars
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The Magic Shard, by eelonqa K harris, is a children’s fantasy book. The book is marketed for younger children, about four to ten years old. The story follows two young friends, Freja and Tjalfe, and how their friendship is tested when a sorceress abducts Tjalfe and casts a spell over him, giving her full control of the boy. Freja sets out to save Tjalfe from the sorceresses and her curse.
This children’s book is a captivating fantasy story that will easily hold the attention of young readers. The language and vocabulary are appropriate for the intended audience, and the story’s pacing is quick, which makes for an engaging story for a young audience. Moreover, the themes of friendship and courage are easy to identify.
The story of Freja and Tjalfe is an adaptation of a tale from the Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen. However, harris does a great job adapting the material to a new setting and characters, and her unique illustrations give new life to this story. After reading The Magic Shard, I felt harris truly reinvigorated the old tale.
I have read a few of this author’s books, and the illustrations found in The Magic Shard were just as impressive as those found in harris’ previous works. The author employs a unique illustration method: the characters in the story are dolls created by harris using a 3D printer, action figures, and accessories. These characters are then juxtaposed against photographs that make up the full-page background images, for example, a river or landscape. I found the combination of the characters and the photographs to be even more eye-catching than in harris’ previous works. The colors are vivid, and each image is a complex, yet cohesive, piece of art.
I am always eager to read eelonqa K harris’ books, and The Magic Shard did not disappoint. I found I was just as intrigued by the illustrations in this book as I was by the captivating story. The themes of friendship and courage coupled with the age-appropriate prose make this children’s book a standout in the genre. I highly recommend The Magic Shard to children and parents of children who enjoy fantasy stories and vividly illustrated picture books. The book is best suited for younger children, around four-to-six years old, because the language and storytelling are basic. Due to the incredible illustrations and engaging story and themes, and because there was nothing to dislike about this book, I award it 4 out of 4 stars.
The Magic Shard
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