Review of The Magic Hotel

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Erin Dydek
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Review of The Magic Hotel

Post by Erin Dydek »

[Following is an official review of "The Magic Hotel" by John Reimold.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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An ordinary hotel becomes a magical place of wonder and adventure when one daddy and his daughter dream the impossible and create lifelong memories. Hundreds of miles may separate them, but the weekends together in their special place open the doors to the imagination where anything is possible. Whether they visit the Grand Canyon, race at the Olympics, climb a majestic mountain, or relax in a peaceful lake, their memories bind them together as they make the most of a challenging situation.

Join the adventure in The Magic Hotel, a 36-page children’s picture book by John Reimold. I loved how this author brought to life the vivid memories of his experiences with his beloved child. This short book created plenty of opportunities for parents and children to develop their own special memories as they read this well-illustrated story together. I enjoyed the upbeat tone of the book and its message of making the best of every moment. I also appreciated how encouraging the father in the story was, and I loved reading about the precious father-daughter bonding time.

My least favorite part of the book came near the end. I didn’t particularly appreciate how this positive theme about imagination and play abruptly turned into a more mature topic concerning the death of a parent. This sudden change confused me; I had to read the book several times to realize what was happening. I believe this part of the book was meant more for the parents reading it to their children. The author also may have intended the transition as a discussion opener for older children. Still, most of the book appeared appropriate for young readers aged 3-8, despite the Amazon recommendation for older readers ages 9-12, so the clash of themes left me unsatisfied with the end.

The book appeared to be well edited and had few errors. Because of the discrepancy between the two themes and the abruptly confusing ending they created, I rate the book three out of four stars. I did not take away another rating point because it was enjoyable overall and may still be appropriate for older children who are ready for mature themes in books.

If it weren’t for the theme of death near the end, I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to preschoolers, kindergarteners, and their parents. But as a precaution to parents who don’t want to have to answer questions about why the lady is giving a speech or what she is doing kissing a wooden box, you may want to wait until your child understands the concept of a funeral before you read this book with them. Otherwise, you can enjoy the imaginative portion that remains upbeat and encourages parent-child playtime and building memories.

The Magic Hotel
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