Title: Willa the Wisp (The Fabled Stables #1)
Author: Jonathan Auxier, Olga Demidova (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Fantasy
Publisher: Puffin Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: October 20, 2020
The first book in a magical chapter-book adventure series by the Governor General Award-winning author of Sweep.
Auggie Pound is eight years old and has the greatest job of all time: he cares for all the animals in the Fabled Stables. The Fabled Stables house the rarest creatures in existence–all of them one-of-a-kind. Auggie’s job is to care for these creatures, as well as track down and safely capture endangered magical beasts in the wild. Some mornings, he arrives to find an empty stall with the name of a new creature to rescue. One day, the Stables rearrange themselves out of the blue, creating a new stall. The sign over the gate says, “Wisp.” But what is a wisp and where is it? All Auggie can see is a moonlit swamp stretching out before him. Then a hungry HOWLLLLLLL rings out in the darkness. It’s up to Auggie to go into the swamp to find the wisp before it’s too late.
Auggie is a little boy who is in charge of The Fabled Stables. The Fabled Stables holds many one-of-a-kind creatures. One day, a new stall appears for an unknown creature. Auggie ventures into the swamp in the new stall and discovers a Wisp named Willa. He has to protect her from hunters, who are trying to capture Willa before she disappears when the sun rises.
I loved the variety of magical creatures in this story. There were some creatures who were based on things in real life, such as a tarantula who was as big as a person named a Garantula. There was a stick-in-the-mud named Fen, who could transform into any item that Auggie needed at the moment, such as a rake. There was also Willa who was a wisp, a creature that is born one day but disappears when the moon sets.
In an author’s note at the beginning of the book, the author says that he wrote this book to be read out loud to children. Some books may read well, but don’t sound the same when they’re read aloud. Sometimes in stories with magical creatures, their names can be complicated and difficult to pronounce. Though there are made-up creatures in this story, their names are easy to say. Some of the dialogue rhymed, which makes it fun to read as well.
This is the great first story in the Fabled Stables series!
Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier
Have you read Willa the Wisp? What did you think of it?