A Finder's Magic Book Poster Image

A Finder's Magic

(i)

 

Magical mystery about a boy, his dog, and an odd little man.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a fairy tale with enchantment, magic, and the mention of witches. It's also a book with riddles, precise vocabulary, and talking animals.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

When Til's dog Bess disappears mysteriously and he begins his search, he's joined by Finder, a strange little man whose magical connection with the animal world helps solve the case. Also involved in unraveling the mystery are two old ladies, their brindled cat, a heron, a mole, and one of Bess's toys named Mudman.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This is an entertaining story with the quaint crispness one might expect in a story of Peter Rabbit, or one of the English mysteries of a time past. The language is fresh and sprinkled with a vocabulary that enhances the telling, and reading it aloud is a must. The words sound as if they are falling from the lips of a loving English grandmother, which truly they were.

The story of how and why the story was written is almost as good as the story itself. Dedicating it to her grandsons, Philippa Pearce (who could well have been Miss Grammer, one of the old ladies) wrote the mystery. Helen Craig, the boys' other grandmother, illustrated it. She most likely is Miss Mousy, the second old lady who also paints and sketches. And, after Miss Grammer says to Miss Mousy in the final chapter, "It would make such a good story," they embark together on the telling of the tale, even settling on the same first line as the one used in the book. Clever, and fun, their collaboration has created a world of magical enchantment that feels like grandma's house.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the odd little man. What is a "finder"? Do you think there really could be such a person? How does he talk to the animals? How did Mudman help with the communication? As the story evolves, families can try to solve the mystery of the dog's disappearance as the finder and the boy uncover clues. They will especially enjoy trying to work out the riddle passed on by the brindled cat.

Book details

Author:Philippa Pearce
Illustrator:Helen Craig
Genre:Fairy Tale
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Candlewick Press
Publication date:March 10, 2009
Number of pages:128
Publisher's recommended age(s):9 - 12

This review of A Finder's Magic was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 7 years old June 16, 2009