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Dorothy, Goldilocks, Black Beauty, Oh My!

Have Library Card Will Travel

My name is not Isabella, but there sure is a lot of Isabella in me.  Read Isabella: Star of the Story (Sourcebooks, $16.99, ages 4-8) by Jennifer Fosberry with illustrations by Mike Litwin to your children and watch how a trip to the library can turn into a magical experience.  In fact the book is dedicated to librarians whose vital role in introducing children to books cannot be stressed enough.

Isabella is a young girl with a keen sense of adventure and an imagination as wide as the continents and oceans combined. Like me, Isabella loves to visit new places and in this, the third book in a richly rewarding series, she ventures inside the pages of some literary classics.

Isabella’s charming banter with her parents is part of the appeal of the story and New York Times Bestselling Author Fosberry wastes no time diving – or in this case, flying – right in! While she won’t answer to Isabella, she will answer to Peter Pan. “I am Peter Pan, and I am flying two stars to the right and straight on to the children’s room.”  Parents, remember to point out the different outfits that Isabella’s trusty plush mouse is wearing with each new book she reads. Illustrator Litwin has also drawn some delightful clues foreshadowing the next story to come. For example there’s a bowl of steamy porridge on top of a book on the page before Isabella transforms into Goldilocks. That’s when she searches for a book that’s “not too short and not too long.” There’s word play for older readers both in the text and in Litwin’s clever and colorful artwork. In addition to Peter Pan and Goldilocks from The Three Bears, Isabella enters the world of Captain Nemo from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Black Beauty, Alice in Wonderland and The Wonderful World of Oz.

The back matter at the end of the book shares interesting details about the evolution of each classic including a DID YOU KNOW factoid parents may even find more interesting than their kids! Considering we all have grown up with these “Stories for all time …” Fosberry has found a wonderful way to engage a whole new audience while making our trip down the rabbit hole all the more meaningful.

Read my review of Isabella: Girl on The Go (book 2) by clicking here.

-Reviewed by Ronna Mandel

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