Jeremy Whitley, Writer
Brittney Williams, Artist
Valentina Pinto, Colorist
Taylor Esposito, Letterer
This is a story about an adventure two young girls face both in play scenarios and in real life. The story begins, Willow is sitting in her room writing a story which has her best friend, Wisp, assisting as they defeat an evil menace. This is a foreshadowing of things to come. Willow and Wisp spend the bulk of the book pretending to be heroes as staff and sword-wielding warriors fighting dangerous foes. Later, they encounter real-life magical creatures, Twinkle, a Sprite from another dimension and The Minions of the King of Shadows who chase Wisp when she recognizes them outside her house. This is an energy-filled and playful romp with a powerful message for children and parents alike.
There are many compelling themes expressed through the protagonists: Heroes have less to do with gender, age, or experience than courage and confidence. And, confidence in children can be incubated through supportive parents who attune to their child’s play. The writer shows these values through seemingly innocent exchanges between the girls and Willow’s family during play sessions. In each, Willow’s mom and dad jump into the play, taking on a character to express an opinion or guide the girls. By doing this, the author shows respect for the work of a child: Play.
The story is action-packed with interesting twists and turns. A transition occurs midway through the book when Wisp confronts a mystical creature which she sees outside her home. She reacts courageously, as does Willow, demonstrating the continuity between her play persona and her real life choices! The art is light and cartoony while supporting both the thematic and fantasy elements of the story. Our little heroes are adorable and the fact that they have ambitious dreams that are unaffected by monsters and supported by parents makes the story that much better . I highly recommend this book for children and parents of young children. Overall = 9