Miguel Lopez de Leon
BookBaby Publisher (2018)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (08/18)
“Babble Magic” by Miguel Lopez de Leon is an entertaining magical fantasy sure to engage readers of all ages!
Bax is an apprentice to Palim, a grumpy old wizard. Palim practices Babble Magic, which is an area of magic that works with casting spells that allow animals to speak. Palim hasn’t had much success, until one day three animals start speaking to Bax. This trio consists of a grumpy squirrel, a quarrelsome owl, and a fainting rooster. When they gain the power of speech, they also take on more human characteristics, and become fruitarians. With these newfound powers comes the desire to explore outside of the wizard’s cottage. To ensure safety, Bax goes along on the first adventure, and they discover other magical creatures! This includes squirrels with special gifts and a quantuky, which is an unfriendly being which likes to pick on animals that are smaller and weaker, like chickens.
The real adventure takes place when they go with Palim to an annual wizard’s convention. Palim can finally show that he has been successful with the Babble Magic. At the convention, the group notices that magic seems to be off kilter and individuals are acting like they aren’t quite right. When Bax realizes that the source of the problem is in their group, he and his trio have to use whatever powers they have to try to overcome the source of an ancient evil magic.
I loved “Babble Magic.” I wish books like this had been around when I was a kid! It is listed as being third to fourth grade reading level, however, I think that it will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
The author did a great job of developing the characters, so that they evolve as the story progresses. This includes the old wizard, who one would think would be too old to change. The animals taking on human characteristics make the story a lot of fun to read. I think that there is a valuable lesson about people learning to get along with people who are different from them. That is exactly what the core group had to do.
“Babble Magic” by Miguel Lopez de Leon would be a great reading selection for schools from elementary age to middle school. Parents can also safely read this book to their children without needing to worry about foul language or adult content. I look forward to checking out other books by this author, and I hope he continues writing stories about these characters.