12.16.09

Magic Trixie and the Dragon

Posted in Review at 1:47 am by Amber

Magic Trixie and the Dragon Cover 

Magic Trixie’s adventures continue in Jill Thompson’s Magic Trixie and the Dragon.  She goes to the circus with one of her grandmothers.  The show under the big top features dragon riders.  When her grandmother asks Magic Trixie what she would like as a souvenir, Magic Trixie gives an answer without hesitation.  A dragon!

Her grandmother explains it is out of the question.  Dragons are expensive, endangered and are too messy to keep in the house.  This doesn’t keep Magic Trixie from still wanting one.  While practicing transmogrification on her little sister’s diaper the unbelievable happens.  A dragon appears!

Magic Trixie learns valuable lessons about friendship in this story.  Like the other Magic Trixie books, this is appropriate for children and adults.  The illustrations don’t necessarily need words in every panel to convey the characters’ feelings.

07.20.09

Writing As Your Characters

Posted in Writing at 5:30 am by Amber

One key to writing a successful novel is to slip inside the skin of the characters.  Narrators can provide a buffer between the reader and the characters.  The reader gets to know the character from the narrator’s point of view which is not always reliable.  But when the reader gets to know what the character is thinking and feeling it can get the reader more involved.

The last year or so I’ve seen more authors writing as their characters outside of their published work.  They create entire web sites and blogs for their characters.  Here is a nice blog by Jill Thompson for her character Magic Trixie.  She posts often enough that readers know she’s still updating it.  Jill does the artwork and the posts so it takes quite a bit of time to update. 

Some even answer interview questions as their characters.  Here’s Beverly Stowe McClure’s interview with Lea Schizas and Lea’s characters Bubba and Giganto.

Have you come across any character blogs or interviews lately that you find interesting?

06.17.09

Magic Trixie Sleeps Over by Jill Thompson

Posted in Review at 6:28 am by Amber

In this story about Magic Trixie, she gets tired of her nightly bedtime routine.  Upon finding out her classmates don’t have to bathe or brush or brush their teeth she resents her parents.  Her friends offer to have her sleepover so she can see what they do.

As you can imagine, the night time rituals for a werewolf, frankstein, mummified princess and vampires are quite different from those of a little witch.

I love Jill Thompson’s artwork.  She can use facial expressions to convey what a character is thinking.  The drawings are detailed and vary between colored and black and white.  This is a cute book appropriate for younger readers.

06.16.09

Magic Trixie by Jill Thompson

Posted in Review at 1:29 am by Amber

Magic Trixie

In Magic Trixie the reader is introduced to who else but Magic Trixie, her family and her friends.  Magic Trixie is a sassy little witch.  The first floor of her house is home to Elixir, a restaurant run by her parents and a cousin.  She attends Monstersorri School. 

Show-and-Tell starts in a few days and she’s stumped on what to bring.  Her friends have all seen her magic tricks.  Trixie’s family tells her she’s not responsible enough or too young to bring in some of their magic items.  Her baby sister gets to do whatever she wants; Abby’s so young the family considers it harmless when she flips through the big spell book or chews on a magic wand.

I’ve been a fan of Jill Thompson’s since her book Scary Godmother was released over a decade ago.  Her stories are engaging (I didn’t see the ending to this one coming) and her artwork is wonderful.  Each panel is detailed and I find myself looking at them more than once to find things I missed.