Magelica's Voyage, Book 1
Title: Magelica's Voyage | Author: Louise Courey Nadeau | Publication Date: June 1, 2013 | Publisher: Magelica Inc. | Pages: 48 | Recommended Ages: 5 to 10
Summary: Who ever heard of a girl being hatched from an egg the color of sapphires? Magelica doesn't know where she came from or who she really is. But when she's transported to the Isle of Dreams in a flying bathtub, she launches into an adventure of discovery, and learns that wonderful things can happen when she uses her imagination, believes, opens her heart and trusts in love.
Come fly with her and discover for yourself the power of imagination, gratitude, believing in yourself, and love! In this special first voyage, fantasy, adventure, magical illustrations, empowering messages, and a wonderful cast of enchanting characters come together as Magelica takes young girls and the special people in their lives on a fun, inspiring voyage about making your life magical.
* Available in English / French / Spanish *
The Rescue, (Magelica's Voyage, Book 2)
Title: The Rescue (Magelica's Voyage, Book 2) | Author: Louise Courey Nadeau | Publication Date: May 27, 2015 | Publisher: Magelica Inc. | Pages: 48 | Recommended Ages: 5 to 10
Summary: When Magelica dreams of the prince lost on a deserted island, she realizes that it could lead to his rescue. She returns to the Isle of Dreams to tell Queen Raya what she knows. Can they save Prince Will before it's too late? Will the power of laughter and love be enough?
* Available in English / French / Spanish *
My Review: Magelica's Voyage is a cute young fiction book aimed at children transitioning from easy readers to early chapter books. Abundant illustrations aid comprehension and help fill in many of the details about the worlds that Magelica inhabits. Kids interested in magical stories and fairy tales will find these tales appealing.
My biggest complaint about the series is its strict adherence to "princess tale" tropes. Why do the characters need to look like adults and Disney characters? Why is love rather than friendship the focus? (The flying bathtub idea also makes for some awkward illustrations - why does she need to dress in a skirt bathrobe?) I think the age range is a bit exaggerated as even some of my 8-9 year olds thought these looked too young and too girly for them.
I do appreciate that the books are available in multiple languages and hope the publishers would consider bilingual versions. There was a token attempt at including diversity in the illustration of the villagers in book two, but perhaps more diverse characters could be introduced in later books. I also enjoyed that book two inverted the normal prince-rescuing-princess idea by putting Magelica in the leading role. I hope the emphasis on "girl power" will continue in future books (and perhaps expand the definition of girl power beyond laughter and singing).
Disclosure: I received print copies of both these books for my classroom in return for an honest review.
About the Author: Louise Courey Nadeau
Passionate about empowering and inspiring children around the world, Louise Courey Nadeau, born and raised in Montreal, Canada and mother of two girls and two boys, created her first fairy tale Magelica's Voyage, with the second book in the series, The Rescue, launched in June 2015.
"Through life's trials and tribulations, I always believed I could. With the Magelica book series my goal is to take young girls and their parents and teachers on empowering adventures and to inspire and encourage them to believe that they are amazing just the way they are, and to discover the power of love, positivity, and believing in themselves."
"Magelica's Voyage is inspired by my life, my family, and the special people and places I love. All of the characters in the story, including Magelica are reflections of the person I am - the wacky part, the funny part, the philosopher, the teacher, the caretaker, the chosen mom, the giver, and of course the dreamer. What would Magelica do, I often ask, and I get the answer. When you fly with Magelica, the possibilities are endless and there is magic all around."
To read her blogs and learn more about Louise Courey Nadeau please visit Magelica's Voyage website at Magelica.com. You can also follow Magelica on FB, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.