Review: Magic Trixie #1

Magic Trixie #1

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Jill Thompson can do no wrong.

I mean, really, are you going to argue with that statement? To me, anyone who has a bad word to say about Thompson isn’t someone I want to associate with.

Which is to say Magic Trixie #1 (Harper Collins, 2008) is absolutely delightful.

As a sort of Scary Godmother Jr., Trixie is an adorable pink-haired moppet, a kindergarten-aged witch in training, dealing with her family’s tendency to pay more more to her baby sister than her. Her classmates and friends are vampires and zombies and a stuck-up werewolf serves as her rival. Her teacher is a ghost. Thompson’s ability to make all of this innocent and delightful is to her credit — there is absolutely nothing menacing about any of these characters.

Trixie’s a bit of a brat as she tries to get attention, but she’s easy to relate to, even for me (which may say more about my ability to empathize with 6-year-olds than anything else, of course). I love her attempts to try to outdo her baby sister and prove what a big girl she is. While her eventual understanding (and love) when it comes to her sister is obvious, it’s still a worthy and lovely lesson.

Thompson’s watercolors are bright and fluid. She has an eye that’s all her own — it’s animated and dynamic and always fun to follow. It’s cute and cartoony, sure, but it is always gorgeously rendered and I love studying the details.

I love Thompson’s unique touches — Trixie’s grandmother, who insists on being called Mimi (it’s explained a “Mimi” is “a Gramma that thinks if she’s never called the G-word, no one will know she’s a Gramma.”) and Trixie’s harried but loving family, which includes a purple-haired big sister and sweetly hip parents. Underneath the supernatural trappings, Trixie’s family is wonderfully recognizable.

(The back of the book says this is for ages 8-11, but that seems a little old to me. I’d gladly give this to my boyfriend’s 6-year-old niece.)

So yes, I love this, but that was basically a given. I’m happy we have Jill Thompson, no matter what she’s doing.

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