Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cold as Ice by Sarah Mlynowski

Cold as Ice by Sarah Mlynowski.  Whatever After #6. 163 p.Scholastic Press/ Scholastic Inc., November, 2014. 9780545627344. (Finished copy courtesy of publisher for review.)

In this sixth installment, puppy Prince manages to hop into the magic mirror at midnight. How he manages this when the rules for entry require knocking on the mirror three times, is not explained. Abby, our narrator, was trying to lure Prince from the top of the stairs. She wanted to keep her promise to her parents never to enter the basement at night. Abby and Jonah have no choice but to follow Prince in through the mirror. They have to save their dog!

It's a good thing the heat in the house rather coincidentally doesn't work and they are both wearing multiple layers of pjs. They tumble into the realm of the Snow Queen, where it is perpetually winter. Though Abby is familiar with the story, at first she thinks they have ended up in Frozen. Luckily, Jonah listens to his older sister and corrects her. Frozen was based on the Snow Queen. Silly Abby. Still, that connection is liable to perk up the ears of children who have not yet discovered this series of fractured fairy tales. I send my review copies of this series down to the elementary school where, my colleague says, she can't keep the books on the shelves. 

Sure, there are plenty of plot contrivances but young readers won't notice. Abby is an engaging narrator. She and her brother have a neat relationship. The sibling dynamics and dialogue ring true. There's action and humor and a bit of fairy tale education along the way. Not a bad way to spend your budget $$.

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