Children's books and book reviews - reading resource for kids, teachers, librarians, parents

*Pink Magic* by Donna Jo Napoli, illustrated by Chad Cameron


Pink Magic
by Donna Jo Napoli, illustrated by Chad Cameron
Ages 4-8 32 pages Clarion Books September 2005 Hardcover    

Santa’s Christmas Eve bag full of toys is not the only magical bag! Mr. Moon the mailman has one, too. His is more concerned with favorite colors, though, rather than favorite toys, and the magic in Mr. Moon’s mailbag is sparked by a sister’s birthday wish for her brother.

Nick and his pink bunny are inseparable; this could be why he loves the color pink. In Pink Magic, Nick wants to get some mail of his own - pink mail. But the only mail arriving is birthday mail for his sister, Eva. Sensing Nick’s longing, Eva uses her birthday candle wish on Nick. The next morning, her wish comes true. Mr. Moon pulls a watermelon out of his mailbag, like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Then Mr. Moon’s deliveries get crazier. Although Nick and Eva have fun with the flamingo and the four pigs, these pink surprise deliveries are not working out for their mom. Subsequently, everything is returned to the mailbag, and none to soon, because the next pink delivery would have sent mom through the roof. Mr. Moon does deliver one last piece of pink mail to Nick though - the one he was waiting for.

Pink Magic takes place over a few lazy summer days. The illustrations immerse the reader in the sunshine outdoors where the majority of the story is set. While patiently waiting for Mr. Moon the shorts-clad mailman to arrive, there’s toast-eating and coloring on the front porch. After a dip in the pool, the flamingo gets a chance to soak up the sun and snooze on the porch, and the fun outside quadruples when the pigs arrive via mailbag. Nick and Eva jump and race with the pigs until the grass looks like a good place to flop for a rest.

Broad views of the front porch which encompass the yard and a surrounding house help develop a homey feeling in this brother-sister story. The illustrations show several different perspectives; sometimes we see through Nick or Eva’s eyes, and sometimes through Mr. Moon’s eyes. This helps the reader participate alongside the characters.

Mr. Moon is the character who stands out the most in this story. With a safari appearance, he looks amusing delivering the mail - especially with his frail little legs and arms. But he’s obviously entertaining Nick and Eva throughout this story. Eva and Nick are all smiles after his deliveries, and Mr. Moon seems to be getting a kick out of his color-sensitive mailbag, too.

Donna Jo Napoli has written several books for children and young adults. This award-winning author is a professor of linguistics, and there is a lot of imagination to enjoy in her writing. In Pink Magic, there’s the magical mailbag that conjures up colorful mail and a little girl who can hear and understand stuffed-animal talk. But a loving brother-sister relationship is the backbone of this story. Eva makes all Nick’s sadness disappear. What she doesn’t expect is all the fun they have because of her thoughtfulness and generosity.

Chad Cameron uses collage and acrylics to illustrate Pink Magic; watch for his illustrations of the funny flamingo and the very lively round pigs. Two other books he’s illustrated are Witchy’s Turned-Around House and George Hogglesberry, Grade School Alien.

click here to browse children's board book reviews
click here to browse children's picture book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young adult book reviews
click here to browse parenting book reviews
web reviews
  Tanya Boudreau/2006 for curled up with a good kid's book  

For grown-up fiction, nonfiction and speculative fiction book reviews,
visit our sister site Curled Up With a Good Book (