Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater

Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater is a charming and silly story set in a world where magical creatures are part of everyday life. Our heroine, the aforementioned Pip Bartlett, is completely capable of talking with and taking care of magical creatures - it’s people she has problems with. Everything changes after an incident involving unicorns at her school and she is sent to spend the summer with her aunt, who is a veterinarian for magical creatures. Pip is having a great time caring for the animals, learning from her aunt, and generally staying out of trouble, until the Fuzzles arrive. Now, while these little balls of fluff may sound cute, their response to any fear or stress is to burst into flame. As more and more flood in the town, it becomes a serious fire hazard and Pip has to help find a solution, not only to save the town, but also to save the Fuzzles from being exterminated by the town government. 

At the core, Pearce and Stiefvater’s story is about loving animals (even the ones that spontaneously combust), navigating life changes, and doing what you know is right. The pacing of the story is swift and the charming illustrations assist in carrying the story forward, helping it seem like an actual guide. Overall, a lighthearted and funny romp through an alternate reality that fans of magical creatures, fantasy, and misadventure will love. Suggested for ages 9 and up.