Monday, March 6, 2017

Dory Fantasmagory

Dory Fantasmagory
Written and Illustrated by Abby Hanlon
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014. Intermediate. 151 p.

Six-year-old Dory sometimes gets in trouble when her wild imagination blends the pretend and the real, which is why her family calls her “Rascal.” Between outsmarting the monsters who live in the house and avoiding being kidnapped by the evil Mrs. Gobble Gracker, Dory pretends to be a dog, rescues a bouncy ball from the toilet, gets dragged to a doctor’s appointment, and generally drives her family crazy with her elaborate plans and incessant questions. What Dory really wants is for her big brother and sister to play with her. Can she convince Luke and Violet that she is NOT a baby? And when it counts most, will Dory be able to choose what’s real over what’s pretend?

It is very clear that Abby Hanlon has spent time with actual children and is familiar with their tangential thoughts and dynamic emotions. Dory Fantasmagory is a hilarious book but it is also accurate to the inner spaces of zany, creative, rambunctious children. The illustrations integrate wonderfully with the text, echoing Dory’s perspective and personality.

This is the first book in the Dory Fantasmagory series. Dory and the Real True Friend and Dory Dory Black Sheep can also be found in the J Intermediate section.

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