Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ellis and the Magic Mirror by Cerece and Aryeh Rennie Murphy - A Review #ReadYourWorld

Hooray for Multicultural Children’s Book Day!!! I am so excited to share with you the wonderful book I received- Ellis and the Magic Mirror by Cerece and Aryeh Rennie Murphy.




Title: Ellis and the Magic Mirror

  • Author: Cerece and Aryeh Rennie Murphy
  • Illustrator: Gregory Garay
  • Paperback: 37 pages
  • Publisher: LionSky Publishing; 1st edition (August 18, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985621052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985621056

About the Book

Ellis Monroe has always been curious about the world. When his father brings home an ancient mirror with the power to reveal the truth about the people and things around him, Ellis begins to see the world in a whole new way. But things get more than a little strange/even more interesting when Ellis brings the mirror to school. While on the playground with the mirror and his best friend Toro Quispe, Ellis discovers that someone or something is hiding out at Harriet Tubman Elementary and trying to stop children from learning. Determined to solve the mystery, Ellis, Toro, and his little sister, Freddye go on a secret mission to find out the truth about the mischievous Buddy Cruster and stop whatever he has planned. Join Ellis, Freddye and Toro as their quest leads them deep into the forest and on an adventure you will never forget.

My Review

I had the pleasure of receiving Ellis and the Magic Mirror to review as part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day. The story follows Ellis, his sister Freddye, and their friend Toro as they discover a secret society of troll looking creatures (Bugabols) using a Magic Mirror that Ellis and Freddye’s father found during an archaeological excavation. At a mere 33 pages, I was delighted at how the authors captured a fun and adventurous story succinctly in a manner that will inspire even the most reluctant of readers to pick up the book and read. The illustrator captures the essence of the characters with fierce illustrations that draw a child’s eye to the page. While this book would be listed as an “Early Chapter Book,” it stands to be put in a class of its own because of the bright, colorful illustrations throughout the book, the edgy, kid approved story line, and the short, easy to read chapters.

What I absolutely love about this story is how the parents are all positive role models. Ellis and Freddye’s father is an archaeologist, and Toro’s mom is also some form of a doctor. There is also this great scene in Chapter 3 where Mrs. Monroe (Ellis and Freddye’s mother) spends time talking to them before bed. In both the text of the story and the illustration, she is engaged and actively listening to her children. Both the children also portray a deep love and respect for their mother. I appreciate this sentiment so much, as many of the books I read capture kids being snotty and rude to their parents or as the parents being complete idiots.

The Magic Mirror that the children use to discover the secret society of Bugabols is magic because it reveals a person’s true self. What a powerful concept to have kids think about how a person is on the inside, instead of just their outer appearance. Thinking about this makes me realize just how profound this book is as a representation for Multicultural Children’s Book Day. Not only are the children in the book culturally diverse, but the overall message in the story is that of assessing a person by their character and integrity.

I plan on donating this book to my child’s elementary school, where I know it will be loved by so many children. I am impressed with how the author engaged her children in the story writing process to create something that will resonate with kids.

Looking through the Magic Mirror

To go along with the concept of the book, I created a printable of a mirror for kids to imagine how amazing they "look" on the inside. Check it out:
My oldest daughter loved the activity and created the following picture:

I love that she sees herself as a rainbow.

To download your own copy of this printable, check out this link

Here is some more info about Multicultural Children’s Book Day-

The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a  Book/Audrey Press. You can find a bio for Mia and Valarie here.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day has 12 amazing Co-Hosts and you can view them here.

All Done Monkey, Crafty Moms Share,Educators Spin on it,Growing Book by

Book,Imagination Soup,I’m Not the Nanny,InCultural Parent, Kid World Citizen,Mama

Smiles,Multicultural Kid Blogs,Spanish Playground

A Special Thanks to the Multicultural Children's Book Day Sponsors: 

Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors! #ReadYourWorld

Platinum: Wisdom Tales Press * StoryQuest Books*Lil Libros

Gold: Author Tori Nighthawk*Candlewick Press,* Bharat Babies

Silver: Lee and Low Books*Chronicle Books*Capstone Young Readers T

Tuttle Publishing ,NY Media Works, LLC/KidLit TV

Bronze: Pomelo Books* Author Jacqueline Woodson*Papa Lemon Books* Goosebottom Books*Author

Gleeson Rebello*ShoutMouse Press*Author Mahvash Shahegh* China Institute.org*Live Oak Media
Multicultural Children’s Book Day has 12 amazing Co-Hosts and you can view them here.

The Classroom Reading Challenge has begun! Teachers can earn a free diversity book! #teachers, #books

-Our Diversity Book Lists and Resources for Educators and Parents are now available. Spread the word! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/multicultural-reading-resources/diversity-book-lists-for-kids/
-Connect with us on Twitter https://twitter.com/MCChildsBookDay

FTC Required Disclosures:
 *I received a review copy from the author free of charge. All opinions expressed in this review represent my honest opinions about the book. **This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you purchase the books through these links, I receive a small portion of the payment, which I use to support this blog. Thanks for your support!   


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