Review: Magic at Midnight

Cinders and SparksTitle: Magic at Midnight
Author: Lindsey Kelk
Illustrator: Pippa Curnick
Series: Cinders and Sparks
Age Range: 7+
Available: Now

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A funked up, funny and fabulous twist on the Cinderella story for every reader of 7+ who loves Frozen and Shrek, by bestselling queen of comedy Lindsey Kelk.

She will go to the ball. But nothing will go to plan…

Cinders lives a boring life with her selfish stepsisters and grumpy stepmother. So when her wishes start magically coming true, and her dog Sparks starts to talk, it’s a surprise to say the least.

Then Cinders meets her fairy godmother: she’s magic, she can fly, and she’s called… Brian. (Apparently it’s a perfectly sensible name for a fairy.)

But Brian is NOT very reliable and Cinders is NOT very good at magic. Soon, Cinders finds herself living a life that is not boring at all – it’s total chaos!


Source: Review copy from HarperCollins Children’s Books via Amazon Vine

This is a fun fairytale retelling that makes Cinders less a victim abused by her step-mother and step-sisters, and more an independent-minded young lady whose step-family really don’t understand her. There’s also a talking dog, lots of wish-magic and tonnes of other fairytale and children’s rhyme folk thrown in (Jack and Jill, Jack and the Beanstalk, Bo Peep, Hansel and Gretel, to name just a few).

The story is okay, quickly disposing of the famous ball and slipper scenario, but it was kind of thin and definitely felt like one story cute into pieces rather than the first well-rounded installment of an adventure. It’s fun enough and enjoyable, but it’s not massively memorable compared to all the other alternative-Cinderella’s out there, and the abrupt ending is kind of annoying.

Pippa Curnick’s illustrations are great, though, and added a lovely extra layer of magical fun to the book. In all, an easy and fun read that looks good and isn’t too complicated. If you have a young reader in your life who loves all things fairytale, then they’ll probably like this too.


Cinders and Sparks: Magic at Midnight is Out Now.
Visit Lindsey Kelk and Pippa Curnick for more details.

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