An enticing tale by LRNG’s own student Anushka Bhattacharjee.
The book My Magic Mirror details the story of nine-year-old Ara and her five-year-old younger brother, Felice, who are new immigrants living in the city of Toronto. One day, Felice stumbles upon a mystical mirror in their basement and immediately notifies his sister when he witnesses the mirror glowing. He drags his sister to the basement to observe the spectacle when all of the sudden the mirror pulls them in. At first, the siblings are confused by their surroundings, but it doesn’t take long for book-loving Ara to recognize that they are in the story of the Three Little Pigs. The siblings are immersed into Pown, the village where the story of the Three Little Pigs takes place. The duo sets out to prevent the three little pigs from becoming lunch for the big bad wolf. Together, the siblings face several challenges and come across shocking realizations as they take part in their adventurous rescue.
This amazing book by Anushka Bhattacharjee puts a clever spin on a classic story. The characters of the three little pigs are described and developed so that the reader learns new information about them without being told information which they might already know. Each of the three little pigs has their own angle which adds to the suspense and drama of the story. The three little pigs are no longer helpless animals aimlessly building homes, but instead pigs with “real life” problems aiming to build shelter for themselves. The characters of Ara and Felice are extremely relatable and engaging. Ara finds it difficult to adjust to her new home in Toronto after recently moving from Arizona. Any child who has experienced moving cities or even homes can relate to her character as she struggles to become accustomed to her new life. The character of Felice is goofy while also being very intelligent. He never fails to make the reader laugh and his mischief adds humour to the story. Although he is only 5 years old, he has brilliant ideas that make the story interesting and moves the plot in unexpected directions. Both of these characters were brilliantly developed, and I couldn’t have pictured two more perfect characters for an adventure which begins through a magic mirror.
Further to the characters, the settings of the books added dimension and realism to the story. Anushka Bhattacharjee described each setting so that the reader felt as though they were submerged in the characters’ adventure. The creation of Pown, where the majority of the story takes place, allows the reader to imagine a city filled exclusively with pigs. The description of the many stores, such as the famous Cheese Shop, the centrally located police station, and the surrounding thick forest allows the reader to visualize the town in great detail. The descriptive language both enhances the book while making it more enjoyable to read.
The plot is advanced in such a way that the reader always wants to turn the page to find out what happens next to the pigs. From the very beginning and the introduction of the magic mirror, the reader is immediately hooked by the mystery and intrigue of what the adventure might bring. The author carries the reader along every step of the way and provides ample detail about the challenges and wrinkles that make this story so playful and unique.
In conclusion, this story is a must read for any young reader who loves fiction. I loved this book, and I am amazed at the intelligence and creativity of Anushka Bhattacharjee! I highly recommend this book and imagine other readers will walk away with the same joy and satisfaction.
MY MAGIC MIRROR: Adventure and Mystery in the Magical World of Fantasy
by Anushka Bhattacharjee
About Noelle Taylor
Noelle is an outgoing, optimistic young woman and student at the University of Toronto. She enjoys spending her time reading a good book or concocting a new baked creation in the kitchen. But, most importantly, she loves working with kids. Noelle found her passion for teaching at a young age in her role as the eldest of five children. Although her big family can be hectic at times, Noelle enjoys spending time with her parents and four younger siblings. Noelle will take her passion for teaching and apply it to her future career as she minors in education. Working with LRNG Academy over the course of the pandemic has provided Noelle with much joy and happiness, and her dance breaks have provided a nice pause from the COVID storm. It has been a pleasure for Noelle to work with her students and see smiles light up their faces.