Polly Diamond and the Magic Book

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
Polly Diamond and the Magic Book Book Poster Image
Girl learns words, family matter in fun, imaginative story.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Vocabulary and imagination are front and center in Polly Diamond, with synonyms and alliteration and words that are just plain fun to say.

Positive Messages

Polly learns how to use her imagination and the magical powers of her book for good, and learns to appreciate the things she has rather than always dreaming about having more.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Polly’s parents are kind and fun, and her teacher and other adults are full of warmth.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Polly Diamond and the Magic Book, by Alice Kuipers, is a sweet, imaginative story for readers just starting chapter books. Polly introduces words most readers at this level probably won’t know, and explains the words’ meanings and why she likes them. It’s a simple, predictable tale, with details kids can relate to, such as wanting her own room, or having a babysitter who's nice to adults but disinterested in the children she’s watching. Mayhem and mischief happen when Polly’s book takes her written words literally -- something young readers have likely experienced when trying to figure out new words’ meanings.

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What's the story?

In POLLY DIAMOND AND THE MAGIC BOOK, young Polly loves words, lists, and anything she can create with her words and lists. When a book appears on her doorstep, she discovers that it will make anything she writes in it come true -- exactly as she wrote it. So, when Polly writes about painting her room the color Aquarium Blue, the walls of her room are suddenly a real aquarium. She writes about wanting a house with more rooms and is suddenly standing in a hallway with an endless number of doors. When she tries to get back to help her sister and greet her new baby brother, she finds that sometimes what she thinks she wants isn’t what really matters to her, and that the words she uses to describe those wants matter a great deal.

Is it any good?

While not a complex story, there’s a lot to love about Polly’s adventure. She repeats her favorite words while making lists of the things she wants, and though her words are fabulous, her dreams are even better. Who wouldn’t want a mansion with an indoor slide and a squillion rooms and to sometimes be invisible to her little sister? Polly Diamond and the Magic Book is a fun read that's just right for young readers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the theme of wishing for things in Polly Diamond and the Magic Book. Have you ever wished for something that, when it came true, you realized it wasn’t all that great?

  • What would you ask for if you had a magic book like Polly’s?

  • Do you think Polly’s book is really magic, or is this in her imagination?

Book details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love fantasy and family stories

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