The Spell of a Story

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Pub Date Jun 04 2024 | Archive Date May 03 2024

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*Winner of the Klaus Flugge Prize for Illustration 2023*

From the award-winning creator of Flooded and Lost comes a magical story about the joy of discovering a connection with books for the very first time.

This brightly illustrated adventure story is perfect for kids who claim to hate reading, as the enchanting narrative opens their eyes to a fantasy world created by words on a page.

In this spellbinding story, we meet a little girl excited for the summer vacation. No more school! However, she’s given the very unreasonable task of reading a whole book over the holidays. A whole book? but she HATES books. Luckily, her sister takes her to the library and says she has just the thing.

Slowly, the little girl is drawn into a world of adventure inside her own imagination, for the very first time. Even the grayscale world starts to fill with color as she is carried away in the story. A little fennec fox leads her to meet fairytale witches and creatures as they find ingredients to cast a special spell at the end of her book.

The little girl is dismayed to learn that this spell seemingly hasn't changed a thing. However, the little fox points out that she is completely transformed: discovering the power of her imagination has changed her forever.

This charming and engaging picture book shows children how wonderful books can really be, leaving them with a lifelong affinity for reading. Discover adventure on every page and get lost in The Spell of a Story.
*Winner of the Klaus Flugge Prize for Illustration 2023*

From the award-winning creator of Flooded and Lost comes a magical story about the joy of discovering a connection with books for the very...

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EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780711278011
PRICE $18.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 109 members

Featured Reviews

I loved how this reluctant reader was taken on a colorful journey of disliking books to finding their magic. The way the creator used color and font changes was brilliant. I’ll use this book to teaching model writing lessons.

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Fantastic story about a little girl who isn't interested in books until she reads a book -- unwillingly! -- and becomes hooked on the story. This has gorgeous illustrations and the colors reflect what is happening in the story; in the beginning, there aren't many colors, but things become bright as her imagination awakens. When she is at a dangerous part of the story, the colors are dark.
Thanks so much to NetGalley for letting me read this

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Nobody is ever too old for a picture book!! As a middle school teacher, my favorite thing to do is get kids on the floor at the front of the room to read a book together. Mariajo Ilustrajo's "The Spell of a Story" is a great book to get reluctant readers hooked on the idea of finding their perfect book. The illustrations combined with the plot of this picture book give me the warm fuzzies. I can't wait to purchase this book on publication day and read it to my 8th grade students.

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One of my new favorite kids' books. The illustrations are just so incredibly gorgeous -- ones that make you want to sit and look at all the little fascinating details forever -- and that's to say nothing of the amazing story of a child becoming enthralled with the adventure of reading. Brilliantly done!

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A book about the love of reading and the magic of getting enchanted by a story. A great book to read with kids who are just starting out on their reading journey. As a life long book lover this really spoke to me. Well written, engaging and fun illustrations.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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This book made me so happy! At first I did not relate to our unnamed protagonist at all, because even as a kid, I loved to read, but seeing her fall under the spell of just the right gateway book was so awesome. As a teacher, I always hope that if I can turn a student on to just the right story, they might become people who love to read, so seeing that story play out was very satisfying!

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A children’s book that opens up to the love of reading.

Taking a young child on a journey from “I hate books” to becoming beguiled, via a library visit, to fall under the spell of reading. This notion, that books can be fun and reading can become a passion is wonderfully told and the reluctant reader is easily identified.

What marks the book out for me is how the “journey” into literacy is depicted. The young girl appears to fall into the book she is reading - but in fact is an illustration of just how a book can turn you into a bibliophile simply by opening to the first page.

Creative writing here re-imagines a strange new world similar to the best fantasy map you can envisage.

Love this author from reading an earlier book, Flooded, this only cements her reputation for me and the illustrations are full of fun and varied scenarios that build the adventure and make it a truly memorable story.

I didn’t find reading fun as a child; mostly it grew into a fear if ever I was asked to read aloud in class. Books set by school to read at home were completed only through my mother reading them to me; even when I was of an age to read and enjoy it in my own head. But Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn came alive as my Mum read those pages to me.
Glandular fever in my later teens was my admission into books and I have read for pleasure ever since. Don’t under estimate the value of books, take for granted libraries or assume a child will love reading.

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This cute story tics all the hallmarks of a good children's book. The illustrations are engaging and draw the viewer into the story. A young child finds out at the end of the school year that she must read a whole book before school starts in the fall. Dismayed at this assignment, she finds herself dragged to the library by her mother. Mom wisely selects a book she loved as a child and within days the whole summer opens up, powered by the stories that unfold. The illustrations start in black and white, but once our main character gets pulled into the first story, the pages explode with color. This book is every librarian's dream.

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New fear unlocked: what if my kid does not naturally like reading books? The Spell of a Story is as much a parenting lesson as it is a beautiful story about kids falling in love with stories for the first time. As they say, if you are not a reader, you just haven't found the right book yet"

I loved this book - as someone who always found solace in books as a child, it was so heartwarming to see this story (illustrations are a big Win!)

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An absolute gem of a children’s book.

This is the story of falling in love with reading and the “spell” of being drawn into the pages of a book. The art style is fitting and approachable, and so very cute. I adored how the story captures the inevitable draw and sparkle of reading, and how one simple book is all it takes to launch a child’s reading habit. And above all, this is inspiring for parents and children, and a great option for “reading time” or family bonding, especially for the reluctant child.

I work with children and can see this doing well, especially as part of a “reach out and read” or similar program.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for this eARC.

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The Spell of a Story
by Mariajo Ilustrajo
I am glad the author changed the title of the book, the spell of a story is part of the story. A summer assignment of reading had a problematic history with students. It helps continue practices and learning through out the year, tempering the loss of learning during the break. The connections that children and their family can make is important. Allowing the students to pick the book is helpful. This book shows with the right book Children can make a connection. Providing a suggestion, but not limitation book list may help students.

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The Spell of a Story is about a child who is finally off for summer vacation, but must read a book... and she hates reading books.

This is an enchanting story about how the right book can change your whole outlook and reading can be fun. If you have a child who struggles to read, or won't give reading a chance dor whatever reason, then this book is for you. I absolutely loved this and it is so relevant to younger kiddos. I cannot wait to purchase this once it is released because it will be a frequent read in our house.

Thank you NetGalley and Quarto Publishing for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

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The Spell of a Story may be one of my new favorite children's books. It features a child who is so disappointed that their teacher suggested reading a book over the summer. They go to the library and their mom chooses a book she had read as a kid. Once the child begins reading, they are captivated and their world transforms into the world of the story. Just like many humans, they read and read until they finish and couldn't put the book down the whole time. Books that promote literacy are so so important for our children today, and The Spell of a Story is sure to put a spell on many kids out there!

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Fabulous! What a brilliant book to encourage readers to get reading and to use the library!
The illustrations are beautiful, of course they are, they are by Mariajo Ilustrajo and the story is a delight, I will be recommending this families far and wide.

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This book managed to make me feel the exact way I did when I was ten and hiding under the covers reading books. I loved it!

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the Spell of a Story was a beautiful book about how fun reading can be! I loved all of the enchanted illustrations and the story was a great adventure.

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Wow, this is a stunningly written and illustrated book, almost cinematic, that writes about the spell of a story. This is to say, why do books entrance us so much? The story is about a young student who is FORCED to read A BOOK during school break and does NOT want to READ A BOOK. But the books, to be short, win the battle. Well, I am very much a reader and the books have absolutely won me over. This book is a delightful read for the hesitant reader and will be loved by those of us in love with books.

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A beautiful book about a young girl who doesn't like to read but ends up loving reading. It is a cosy book with beautiful illustrations.

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I absolutely loved this book! It is the story about a little girl who does not like to read books. When she is told to read a book in the summer, she is annoyed. But when she starts reading, she gets lost in a different world, representing what reading feels like. I loved how the colors of the illustrations were monotone but it suddenly turned colorful when she started reading and got lost in another universe of the story. Beautiful book!

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This was such an enjoyable read about the power of reading. The protagonist is relatable, so this book would be excellent for a child who may not love reading - yet. I would certainly recommend this book to teachers, librarians, and bookstore owners to read during a story time.

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“Finally, it’s the last day of school. That means no more waking up early, no more pop quizzes, and most importantly, no more reading.
‘Enjoy the vacation, and don’t forget to read a book.’”

NO! That can’t possibly be right. It’s supposed to be a time for kids to have fun and relax. Our horrified student goes home to complain, presumably to Big Sister (since the dedication is to the author’s big sisters who showed her “the power of reading.”)

Big Sister says it’s time to hit the library. NO! Little Sister moans and groans to the cat, to no avail, who curls up and goes to sleep, as cats do. Big Sister makes good on her promise/threat, and to the library they go.

My Goodreads review has an illustration with the caption:
“They look even more boring when they’re all together. How do you choose? They’re all just quiet and tall.”

She browses unsuccessfully through a few. “A mermaid who wants to become human because of a handsome … prince? Puuuurlease.”

Notice that Big Sister, however, is turned slightly to the right, having spotted something peeping out of a book on the Adventures shelf.

“ ‘Why don’t you try this one? I read it when I was your age?’”

Little sister says it looks even bigger at home, like the longest book that ever existed. It will take all summer to read it.
My Goodreads review has two illustrations with the caption:
“WOW! Where am I?”

Bright jungle colours, bright clothes and boots on our young reader, and she’s off, led by a small, mouselike creature with a mask and a big fluffy tail.

My Goodreads review has an illustration with the caption:
“ ‘No time for questions. Quick. Follow me! We are late!’”

There is a circuitous route on a map with many features detailed: “DARK MOUNTAINS (where big strange creatures live), The Big Piranha Swamp, Cave of Horror, pirates, witches, and a short-cut bridge (extremely dangerous), the Unknown Land”

Her guide explains they need to collect ingredients, and it’s a colourful hunt that ensues. Flowers, monsters, bats, pirates! “ ‘Something tells me this isn’t going to be a cake recipe.’”

Finally they arrive at the witches’ house where her guide will hunt for an ingredient while she has tea and chats, to distract the witches.

My Goodreads review has an illustration with the caption:
“’Quick! What’s taking so long?’ ”

All of a sudden her reading is rudely interrupted with a call to dinner and then bathtime. We see the book on the table, next to the bath, and under her arm as she brushes her teeth. She is told Lights Off, but is not ready for sleep. She whispers under the covers.

My Goodreads review has an illustration with the caption:
“ ‘I need to know how this ends. Where was I?’”

She returns to the story and her guide, who begins brewing the potion and, considering this is a children’s picture book and not a bestselling mystery, I feel I can reveal that the spell works! Her guide tells her she has fallen under the spell of a story. She admits she feels different.

My Goodreads review has two illustrations with the caption:
“ ‘Can we go back to the library…? I am ready for my next adventure.’

‘Already? I thought you hated books.’”

My Goodreads review has an illustration with the caption:
“ ‘I think I’ll need to try out quite a few more just to make sure.’ ”

Much of the book is written in what looks like handwritten capital letters. When the girl is reading her book, her imaginary conversation is in the usual mixed upper and lower case ‘handwriting’, but the guide’s words are printed in whatever the book font is (a simple sans-serif type), to indicate what is sparking her imagination. There are many examples of the capital letters. Here is an example of the mixed fonts.

My Goodreads review has an illustration showing both fonts.

When she goes adventuring in her reading, she leaves the rather monochrome real world behind for the bright colours of the book, as she risks the perils of crossing dangerous bridges over deep ravines.

Author/illustrator Mariajo Ilustrajo has done a beautiful job of showing a girl discovering a whole new world. Notice the bright foxes (and mask) on Big Sister as she is engrossed in her own library book. Lovely touch.

Thanks to #NetGalley and Frances Lincoln Children’s Books for the copy for review of #TheSpellOfAStory. It’s a delight.

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This is a great children book and I think it depicts perfectly how it feels to be enraptured in the story of a good book.

I liked the illustrations and the fact that it all becomes super colourful when the character is reading.

In this story, the main character goes from reluctantly reading a whole book for an assignment, to intentionally going back to the library for more. It feels relatable and is definitely a charming story.

Thank you to NetGalley and Quadro Publishing for this ARC in exchange of my honest review.

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What a great children's book! I have loved books foe as long as I can remember and still have some of my first childhood books from the early 1960s. Mariajo Ilustrajo captures how I still feel about reading and sharing this story with my grandchildren was delightful! Thanks # NetGalley

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This is the book parents and teachers of reluctant readers have been waiting for. This sums up precisely what we try and tell the kids in a beautifully illustrated picture book adventure. Straight to the top of my recommendations list.

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"The Spell of a Story" is everything you could want in a children's book—adventure, drama, a tiny moral to the story, and a story-within-a-story. Oh, and lively illustrations to keep things extra interesting. When the main character is told to read a book over vacation, she can't imagine anything worse—and things don't get better when her mother takes her to the library. But it doesn't take long before she falls into the story and things start to change...

What I loved most about this is the way the character falls into the story and we get to see snippets of what's going on between the pages, all in full color and with plenty of adventure. The witches are my favorite; mischevious or no, they look like a delight to hang out with. I didn't need a book like this as a kid (from a very young age my father could stick me in the back of a conference room with a few books and I'd be happy as a clam for the duration), but I still would have loved reading it, just as I loved reading it now. After all, life is so much more colorful with a book or twelve...

Thanks to the author and publisher for providing a review copy through NetGalley.

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What an amazing little book for children who don't like to read and those who love it, showing them the magical worlds we can explore in fictitious stories. The illustrations are utterly charming and and colours that are a little dull at first and then literally explode once that little main characters opens up a book gave me so much nostalgia remembering how I dove into stories from a young age, I had tears in my eyes. I will definitely buy this book for all the children I know.

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I loved this story of a reluctant reader who learns to love what stories can do. The palette of the illustrations communicated the power, emotion, and possibility of stories that engage readers. I appreciate how the adults in this book encourage a reader to find what interests her instead of pushing "should-read" books, modeling a helpful way to build a love of reading.

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A young girl who dislikes reading is assigned on the last day of school to read a book. Her mother takes her to the library and helps her select the beginning of an adventure that changes her reading outlook. I love how the illustrations go from a few tones to more color as she falls into the spell of reading. This would be a fun book to read to all my students in my elementary school library at the end of the year. I’m always encouraging them to read over the summer. Thank you to Quarto Publishing Group and Frances Lincoln Children’s Books for the temporary ARC via NetGalley and I am leaving a voluntary review.

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OMG, I loved this story! It’s about this girl who hates reading but when she finds the ultimate book for her she becomes a bookdragon herself. I love this so much and really think that every one who doesn’t like reading just hasn’t found his or her book yet. Inalso really liked the accompanying pictures. ♥️

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This beautiful book by Klaus Flugge Prize winner Mariajo Illustrajo is full of magic and will bring you and your little ones joy to read.

At a time when reading for pleasure is at an all time low and the Book Trust and Children's Laureates are joining forces in order to tackle the issue at the grass roots, this book breathes hope and joy into the heart of any parent with a reluctant reader in their house.

The story begins with a young girl finding out that she must read a book over her school holidays. Why on earth would she ever want to do that? She HATES books. Why can't she just have fun and relax? Her mum takes her off to the library and chooses a book for her and the rest , as they say, is history. The dull sketches on the pages transform into vibrant illustrations packed with a spectrum of wonderful colours and the girl gets totally drawn in the the magic of her book. She is taken on an adventure full of witches, piranhas and dragons and she can not put her book down. When she finishes, she heads straight back to the library to find another story to cast it's spell on her.

Mariajo Illustrajo uses her beautiful illustrations and transition from muted to bright colours to bring the story to life in the way that a great book captures our imagination and fills us full of emotion whilst engaging our imagination. A good book can make us laugh, cry, love and all of the emotions in between and somehow, employing her drawings, Mariajo captures all of that and pops it onto the pages of this fabulous picture book. We loved it and can't think of a better tool to entice those children who think that books are boring and a chore into changing their outlook.

We read this book with children age 4-6.

Thank you to NetGalley and FLC/Quarto for sending this eBook for review consideration. All opinions are our own.

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The little girl at the centre of this story definitely does not like reading and she is not impressed when her teacher tells the class that they are expected to read a book over the school holiday. The situation worsens when she is taken to the library to choose the book. She turns down all recommendations (in one case, out of disgust at reading a book where a mermaid wants to become human because of a handsome prince, which I rather liked!) but eventually leaves with one that her sister enjoyed when she was younger. When she starts the book, she finds that it really isn't that bad, as she is transported to another world. The illustrations, at this point, become bold and bright and colourful, compared with the muted pastels of the previous pages. The little girl meets new characters and discovers new places on her adventure and eventually falls under the magic spell of books and stories. A lovely, stunningly illustrated book that would be an excellent addition to a school or class library, particularly to show those children who dislike books, that it's ok to dislike something but that maybe they just haven't yet found the right "spell" for them.

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Oh my gosh, this will be PERFECT to promote summer reading to elementary classes! (Which is good, because I am completely sick of the one I used last year) It’s about a girl who is assigned to read a WHOLE book over summer vacation. Clearly the worst punishment ever. But her mother takes her to the library and she finds a book she actually likes, and falls into the story. The illustrations do a great job of getting this across - becoming more vivid and detailed as she falls deeper into the fantasy world. My only (small) gripe is with the font, which is all caps and a little tough to read. Hopefully something that plays better on the actual page than on my screen. (Ever since I started researching materials for the dyslexia collection, I’ve started to rebel against all-caps fonts, which are tough for struggling readers) But that’s a minor gripe - this is really great.

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When she discovers she must read one full book over vacation, a young girl discovers the power of reading - and that she loves it.

This book has a beautiful illustration style and depicts the power of reading artfully. The reader is shown how you can be drawn into a a world just from opening a book. As a librarian I'm appreciative that the child and her mother went to a library to find a book, and showed how a bookshelf might look to a reluctant reader, and later to someone who's discovered the power of books.

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This book is great for any child in their elementary career.

This book was meant to foster a love of reading. The characters are purposely made in two tone colours at the beginning.

Reading on summer vacation sounds like a bore to the main character and so do libraries.

When she reads a book her mom read as a child, she's skeptical, and then suddenly, her life is in bright colour.

The girl goes through all kinds of adventure themes found in novels and goes along a quest with a masked mouse.

Suddenly, she cant get enough of reading and speeds through her routine just so she can get back to her book.

Its so true of how us readers feel when we are taken over by a great book. This is a great story for kids!

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“The Spell of a Story” is a book that even should have in their classroom when it releases. So many students nowadays either struggle with reading or have a dislike for it due to our education system and how reading is presented. Mariajo Ilustrajo does an amazing job encouraging readers to find books that captivate them and take them to another world in their minds. The character is never criticized for their dislike in reading, but instead is taken to the library to find the perfect book for them. To watch them fall in love with reading reminds me the first time I found a book I could not put down.

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This book is so good! It made me laugh. It filled me with joy. And it left a very satisfied smile on my face.

This book is perfect for young readers who like to read, as well as those who would rather not. Both will find something to relate to in the book. I also encourage adult readers to give this one a try. It will remind you of the joy of reading.

A real celebration of the transformative power of reading.

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Its reminds me how I start reading and make this as a hobby. Since I was a kid, i hate reading, same as the story told inside this book. Until finally I found one book that makes me fall in love with reading. Hopefully same thing goes to my kids when she found the right book and make reading as a hobby. Thanks for the ARC!

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The spell of a story is a children's picture book that perfectly encapsulates the joy and magic of reading. The main character, a little girl that hates reading, seeing it as a tedious chore, gets assigned to read a book for the summer by her teacher. Her sister takes her to the library, and she dreadfully picks out a book to read. Soon she finds herself lost in an imaginary world, and unable to put down her book.

This was such a heartwarming little story that perfectly captured the making of a bookworm! Absolutely recommend!!

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I loved this book! It’s a great book to show how amazing books can be. I have so many kiddos in my life who don’t like reading so I love to be able to share this with them potentially.

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Oh my gosh I think this should be in every little ones library!!! I loved this story especially for little ones that aren’t really avid readers. The illustrations aren’t overly bright but pull you into the story and add a wonderful layer.

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I love it. I love it. I love it so much. I would purchase for myself and for my friends!!
This is a story about a girl who did not like reading and then got a taste of the magic of stories - Oh! It's wonderfully written, the colours are beautiful, the illustrations are gorgeous.
It makes me fall in love with books even more, and it reminds me of all the magical things about books and what it do to us.

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This is such a good story and I could definitely see children who don't love reading picking this up and giving reading another shot. I'm so glad I could read this early.

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This was the CUTEST wee story. As an avid lifelong bookworm, it was really beautiful to see the journey from ick to magnificence in the relationship with stories, and the illustrations are full of life.

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This book made me smile the whole time I read it. I love it when someone finds the love of reading. This book is the perfect example of what it is like when you read a good book. What a cute book! I liked the layout and the pictures were also good.

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A wonderful story encouraging reading with beautiful illustrations. A great story for children who may not have yet found that perfect book to steer them toward the love of reading.

ARC was provided by NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.

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I remembered the first time I fell in love with reading. My mom casually handed me a copy of her favorite novel (it's And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie). I was skeptic I could enjoy and finish it since I rarely read novel and chose to read comic instead. But, OMG, I was drawn into the story and for the next hours I came to my mom and ask if she had another novel.

When I read The Spell of a Story, I found my small me in the main character. I saw book full of text as something boring (and wonder why there is people who loves it). And through very nice illustration, The Spell of Story could bring me to experience one more time how to be "in spell by a good story."

A short book, with very nice pictures, to explain that there's magic inside a book and everyone can be casted by its spell.

Highly recommended!

(Thank you NetGalley for the ARC!)

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Thank you to Mariajo Ilustrajo and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this amazing children's book before it is released.

This is one book that you NEED to put on your child's bookshelf as soon as it is available for purchase. The Spell of a Story is about a little girl who has the "dreadful" task of having to read one book over summer break. Soon she realizes, with the help of her sister, that maybe the library can hold some magic. This book will put a spell on you and your child with it's humor and beautiful illustrations. I highly recommend that every teacher gets a copy of this book and reads it aloud to your class. Hopefully this book would inspire your students to learn about the magic of reading.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with this book for free in exchange for my review! All opinions are my own.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but for some reason I think this book might be an instant classic. The illustrations were charming. It reminded me of the vintage illustrations of childrens books from the early to mid 1900s. I also enjoyed the story and I would say it was pretty easy to follow. If I had a child, I would buy this book for them.

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This is a stunning picturebook about a little girl is forced to face her misgivings about reading after her teacher sets her class a holiday reading assignment. This heart-warming tale about the journey to become a reader is joyful and vibrant, and anyone who is familiar with Mariajo Illustrajo’s other books (Lost and Flooded) will know they are in for a visual treat. The transformative effect of reading is beautifully conveyed in the artwork One of my favourite picturebooks of 2024 so far!

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Book 041 of 300 ~ 2024



Everyone who has kids who hate reading or even adults themselves who hate reading, will definitely be enticed with this one.

The way the author and illustrator depict what is is like to go from being a book hater to a book lover is cleverly depicted here.

Did I mention that I love love love this brilliant book??

I feel like I haven't said it enough.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

#book41of300 #amreading #netgalley #tbrpile #instareads #readstagram #reading #bookreview #bookreviewer #booklover #booksAreLife #booksForTheWin #thisbookfairyisreading #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookstagramfeature #bookshelf #booksofinstagram #bookish #bookworm #goodreads #booklovers #theSGbookfairyReads #theSGtrekkiereads #bookaholic #bookaddict #bookchallenge2024 #reviews #lovebooks #booknerds

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I love this book so so much. Our main character is given the task of reading one whole book during summer vacation! But in that, she discovers magic contained within “the spell of a story”.

The illustrations are stunning and I love the progression. At the beginning, her world is neutral/beige. While reading, the illustrations are bright, fully colored. After returning to the “real world”, it still has the basis of neutral/beige, but there’s more bits of colors as the magic of reading follows her. It feels so subtly magical – similar to reading!

This feels like a fantastic book to read to the kids that might have not found their love of reading yet. I will definitely be recommending it to teacher/librarian friends.

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This book is all about the magic of books. It is a bit of a cliched story but it is beautifully presented through some really well thought-out pictures. I may use this in one of my courses as the illustration is just so lovely.

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A young girl comes home after her last day of school with terrible news. She has to read an entire book during the school holidays.

Just one? For the entire school holidays? That is terrible news.

She hates books.


Her sister takes her to the library,

Ooh, the mother ship!

where she’s introduced to the book that will change her life.

Okay, so what you’re telling me is the sister is the hero of this story.

I love books. I love books about books. I love books about loving books.

The words in this one are wonderful, sure, but it’s the illustrations I keep going back to. Our soon to be kindred spirit is absolutely adorable!

Seeing our reluctant reader glued to the page is what joy is made of. Witnessing the moment she transforms into one of us is pure magic.

Prior to their visit to the library, the colours are muted. You can see more vivid colours beginning to escape the pages in the library and when the girl begins to read. Once her imagination sparks, though, that’s when the colours come to life.

I appreciated the sneaky inclusion of the author’s other books on the classroom bookshelf. Be on the lookout, as I always am, for Mary Poppins. You may also find a Lost polar bear.

You don’t need a spell to convince me of the life changing magic of books. My hope for this book is that it’s the first adventure for tomorrow’s bookworms.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, an imprint of The Quarto Group, for the opportunity to read this picture book.

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I love this!!! The symbolism of colors, it’s all full when the character didnt like book but suddenly it’s very vibrant and full of colors once she started reading. It was nice!

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This was ADORABLE! Such a nice little story about a child discovering the magic of reading after thinking she hated it. The art is stunning, I love the style so much. A simple yet perfect children's short story.

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The Spell of a Story by Marajo Ilustrajo is a wonderful and magical story about a girl discovering her love of reading. Getting to see the illustration of a girl falling in love with stories was wonderful. The illustrations themselves were beautiful and really brought you into the story. This is the perfect book for any young children that think reading is a chore.

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This is lovely and engaging picture book and an ideal read-aloud for KS1 classroom. The initial resistance to reading at the beginning of the story will certainly get the readers attention. The way the main character becomes completely engrossed in her mother’s childhood favourite book is entirely believable and very endearing. The illustrations cleverly transform between muted and minimal to detailed and vibrant as the love of reading evolves. This is a book written for the US market although equally adaptive for use in UK.

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I loved this! I was not a reader growing up, and I feel like this was my exact experience when I discovered fantasy. I loved that the art style changed to really showcase how magical reading is. I think readers of all ages can relate to this story.

I received an ARC from Quarto Publishing Group – Frances Lincoln Children's Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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I loved how this story starts out in Black and white but as she gets into the books it turns to bright colors . then it's bright colors as she goes on her journey with some fun and strange looking friends. As she has to stop reading for dinner or bedtime we are back to black and white. Then back into the story in the book is fun colors.

Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for the copy of the ARC.

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The Spell of a Story is a wonderfully illustrated picture book about discovering the magic of reading over the Summer holidays. When a little girl goes to the library with her Mum and sister, she is encouraged to read a book that they themselves enjoyed at her age. At its heart, this book encapsulates how reading can transport you to different worlds. The illustrations matched the text beautifully; married elements which ensure that the picture book has a really nice flow from page to page. I also loved that it shows how a love of reading is something that can be nurtured in small children. Bravo Mariajo Illustrajo!

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Oh wow I cannot wait for this book to be published! A beautifully illustrated book that uses color to show how reading captures the imagination for a girl who hates reading. This is the perfect book for my elementary library and I will definitely be adding it to our collection.

Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced digital copy, all opinions are my own.

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What a cute, beautiful book! “The Spell of a Story” was an excellent. You witness the transformation of a reluctant reader who falls under the spell of reading a good book. As a book lover, perhaps it may be difficult to relate to someone who doesn’t yet enjoy reading, but wait for it! Because you’ll love witnessing how mesmerized she becomes due to the magic of reading. I honestly feel like reading is a magical experience and absolutely love seeing the literary world through our protagonists eyes.

I hope that this will engage many new readers!

Five stars. Simply enchanting!

[Note: full review to come at time of publication.]

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The Spell of a Story is about a child who thinks books are boring. When she begins reading a book her mother read as a child, she quickly finds herself immersed in the adventures she is reading about. I thought this was a sweet picture book that can help reluctant readers discover the power of stories and reading.

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This book would be great for reluctant readers. I hope that everyone is able to find a book that gives them the joy of reading.

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Thank you Netgalley and Quarto Publishing Group – Frances Lincoln Children's Books for the wonderful ARC in exchange of an honest review.

*Winner of the Klaus Flugge Prize for Illustration 2023*

The spell of a story starts with last day of the school. The teacher gives assignment to everyone to read a book. But the little girl doesn't like to, she actually hates reading. Going home she whines about the unreasonable task they are asked to complete. Her sister takes her to library to find a book which she might enjoy.

That turns out to be a total surprise as she starts enjoying reading. Once immersed, she imagines everything and more that is written in book. That starts a journey of a reader.

Ain't that journey of every reader?? I remembered my days of school. I used to ask for extra assignments if that meant I could read more. I had my board exams and here I was reading a novel in my mother tongue.

This book made me so nostalgic and I loved it. Highly recommended to emblem that habit of reading in your kids.

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This book is about a child who dreads reading and the power of reading and stories. I cannot tell how much my child and I cherished this book. It is witty, heartwarming, cute and has a nice pacing and buildup. The characters are relatable. The artwork is a great match for this book and very unique. I highly recommending this to all readers, and especially to those who are afraid of reading.

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I fully enjoyed this book, and my daughter (8) just kept giving me the evil eye because she is the main character of this story. I am trying so hard to get her into reading and I know once I find the right book it will click. This also made my heart smile, because as a librarian, my job is to hopefully bring magic and help that child find the book that clicks with them and unlocks this amazing world of reading.

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How to go from disliking reading to becoming a bibliomaniac by finding JUST the right book!
The illustrations by the author are imaginative, colorful, and delightful and FUN!
Well suited for reading alone or WITH someone of any age including ESL, and great for gifting to everyone, but especially to a school, hospital, or your local public library!
I requested and received a free temporary e-book on Adobe Digital Editions from Quarto Publishing Group – Frances Lincoln Children's Books | Frances Lincoln Children's Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
Pub Date 04 Jun 2024

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What a gorgeous tale of a child finding 'their' book. This will resonate with many adults and children who have ever struggled to find something to read. The use of colour in the book is very clever and enhances the developing feelings and emotions throughout the story. I can't wait to buy my own copy to share with my class.
Highly recommended!

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The wonderful, whimsical tale of a child who discovers just how magical it can be to get lost in a book (metaphorically, of course...or is it? Because part of the charm is how she finds herself fully inside that world, on the quest alongside curious creatures, facing off against a dragon). The illustrations are nicely rendered first in a washed-out monochromatic palette that sets the stage for vivid colors once she enters the world of the book. I laughed a few times in sympathy for the dialogue of the child - petulant, irritated, and frustrated and being told to do something that she just KNOWS she will not enjoy. Until, of course, she discovers that perhaps her mother had steered her right after all...and straight into a fairy tale that the mother herself had loved as a child.

There was just one thing that felt very off. I didn't love the font chosen for the text of the book; it's a small quibble, but the font used in the "real world" felt unusual and weird, which was especially strange once the book creature started to talk, and it used a "regular" font that didn't feel unusual at all. Why didn't they use the "boring" regular font for the real world, and the weird, unusual font for the dialogue inside the book world, to help underscore how strange and wonderful the book world is?? Such an odd choice. But all the other choices made here are lovely, especially the subplot that we see of the mother's loving guidance for the daughter, and how the story ends with them united in their love for reading.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this eARC for unbiased review. This review will be cross-posted to my social media accounts closer to the book release date.

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Mariajo Illustrajo is immensely talented and her third book could very well be her best yet, although I have to admit I get the same feeling every time I finish any of her books.

The fact that she also illustrates her stories just allows us to immerse ourselves in her incredible story building abilities and enjoy her vision fully. This book is now published as I Hate (crossed out) Love Books and the children in my library have absolutely adored it since it arrived. And it's not very often you get such enthusiastic reactions for both story and pictures, we have all become huge fan of hers.

The story is about a girl who has been told by her teacher that she needs to read a book over the summer holidays. Initially she is flat out negative and in despair so follows her mother to the local library and very reluctantly follows her mother's advice and chooses a book to take home. And then gets absolutely hooked by the story and cannot put the book down. Through crazy adventures and beautiful pictures, Illustrajo highlights the magic that awaits us all when we lose ourselves in the pages of a book and how we can create whole worlds in our heads without ever moving from where we are.

Mariajo Illustrajo deserves all the praise and I can't wait what else she has in store for us in the future. This book is definitely librarian approved!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my review copy, all opinions are my own.

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I was initially a bit put off by the muted style of the first few pages of illustrations, but I liked the main character's personality and then the magic happens; it's a great book about learning to love books and reading. A whole new world of adventures to experience. Great message and enchanting visuals after all!

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