by Kallie George
Illustrated by Alexandra Bolger
For release February 2015
Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy
Though Clover believes wholeheartedly in luck, she feels that all hers is bad. For example, her best friend Emma gets a last-minute opening at summer-long pony camp, but not Clover. Then, while Clover plays with her new pet canary Penny, a baseball breaks the window, allowing the bird to escape. Clover gives chase ending up in The Woods (“where wee beasties play”), where she spots a notice asking for volunteers at an animal adoption agency. Unlucky or not, Clover is hopeful that this could be her opportunity to spend time with animals and do something worthwhile too.
Though reluctant, Mr. Jams at the M.A.A.A. (Magical Animal Adoption Agency) accepts Clover’s offer to volunteer, introducing her to the animals currently up for adoption, including Esmeralda, a cursed toad; five fairy horses; two fire salamanders; a baby dragon; and half a dozen unicorns. When Mr. Jams leaves Clover in charge for several days, Clover realizes that her bad luck is nothing compared to that of these special animals who’d already been abandoned or mistreated. It would be up to her to care for Esmeralda, Snort, Moondrop and the others, and ensure that only good-hearted people are allowed to adopt them.
While the title of this new series may be suggestive of a vacuous series devised to ride to commercial success on fantasy animals, Kallie George has proven once again that she has a stronger mandate. Like her picture books, Spark and Flare (Simply Read Books) and early reader The Melancholic Mermaid (Simply Read Books), Clover’s Luck promotes a positive message about self-acceptance and compassion wrapped in a charming story with an odd assortment of magical creatures. With Books 2 and 3 already slated for later in 2015 and 2016 respectively, readers will have plenty of time to embrace their inner magic and look forward to enchantment of the literary and imaginary kind.
(A version of this review was originally written for and published in Quill & Quire, as noted in the citation below.)
Kubiw, H. (2015, March). [Review of the book Magical Animal Adoption Agency: Clover's Luck, by Kallie George]. Quill & Quire, 81 (2): 35.