Book Review: Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures (Pip Bartlett, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater, Jackson Pearce
Published by Scholastic Press on April 28th 2015
Pages: 192

From bestselling authors Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce comes an exciting new series full of magical creatures, whimsical adventures, and quirky illustrations.

Pip is a girl who can talk to magical creatures. Her aunt is a vet for magical creatures. And her new friend Tomas is allergic to most magical creatures. When things go amok—and they often go amok—Pip consults Jeffrey Higgleston’s Guide to Magical Creatures, a reference work that Pip finds herself constantly amending. Because dealing with magical creatures like unicorns, griffins, and fuzzles doesn’t just require book knowledge—it requires hands-on experience and thinking on your feet. For example, when fuzzles (which have an awful habit of bursting into flame when they’re agitated) invade your town, it’s not enough to know what the fuzzles are—Pip and Tomas also must trace the fuzzles’ agitation to its source, and in doing so, save the whole town.


Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures was full of vivid imagination and quite honestly a world I want to live in. Pip can talk to magical creatures, but everyone finds this strange, even though HELLO, there are UNICORNS. I’m just saying… how farfetched is it really. So, Pip gets in huge trouble at her school’s career day when she realizes Unicorns are not as wonderful as she originally thought. One of her classmate’s parents raises show Unicorns and they all fight for attention. Pip makes it worse by talking to one, ending up riding it and creating mass chaos.

When her parents send her to stay with her aunt, a vet for magical creatures, she finds herself in quite an interesting situation. She can communicate with the creatures but no one believes her, so it’s not always the most helpful. When a Fuzzle appears – a little pest like creature that bursts into flames when excited or scared – she must help her aunt solve the problem before they are exterminated for being dangerous pests. With the use of her Guide to Magical Creatures, she finds the source of the problem. Unfortunately, no one believes her except a boy who is so allergic to the world and to magical creatures it causes some interesting reactions. Floating, sneezing different colors, etc.

I love Pip, she’s not afraid to embark on adventures and has a rather stubborn streak. The different magical creatures she encounters are both charming and hilarious at the same time. I especially enjoyed Bubbles, a Miniature Silky Griffin who is hilarious and often complains about Pip’s cousin Callie’s singing. The Fuzzles, for all their bursting into flames and nestling into underwear draws seem so cute. There’s a scene where the use them to roast marshmallows which made me want a Fuzzle even more.

I loved this cute story about a world just like ours, only with magical creatures and girl who can communicate with them. I hope that Pearce and Stiefvater collaborate more in the future for this book was so awesome. Probably my favorite middle grade this year.


Read this book if you love magical creatures. If you don’t love magical creatures, you should really rethink your philosophy of life.

Latest posts by Kristen (see all)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.