[Book Review] May Magic (Calendar Mysteries, #5) by Ron Roy


May is for Magic…

Twins Bradley and Brian are celebrating Mother's Day by treating their mom to a hypnotist's show. But when the Pinto family gets home from the show, the twin's mom starts acting strange. She splashes in the bathtub for hours, she leaves corn kernels all over--she even quacks! Bradley thinks his mom has been hypnotized into believing she's a duck! Can Bradley and Brian, with help from their friends Lucy and Nate, turn their mom back into their mom?



May Magic, the fifth Calendar Mystery book, is a Mother's Day themed mystery aimed at a slightly younger audience than that of the A to Z Mysteries books this series spun-off from. As usual for the series, it's a really cute mystery shown through the eyes of very young protagonists--only around six years old--and set in a world where the positive aspects of 1950s attitudes (kids are assumed to be able to handle themselves in their hometown, everyone trusts their neighbors, there's no "stranger danger" to speak of, etcetera) exist alongside modern conveniences (which were at a 90s level when A to Z started and have now caught up to to the 2000s).

Unlike other Green Lawn books from Roy, the parents are quite present in this book--or the Pinto parents are, at least. (Dink's father seems to have an increasing presence in the A to Z Mysteries Super Editions books while Ruth Rose's parents have yet to make more than split-second appearances.) In fact, not only are Mr. and Mr. Pinto invested in the plot, but Mrs. Pinto is the central focus of it--not to mention being in on the gag.

Being a mystery involving stage hypnosis, it's a silly story, for sure, and the kids are definitely being treated as far more naive than their older siblings (who, at only nine years old, were apparently mature, clever, and lucky enough to solve mysteries that even the NYPD and Scotland Yard can't manage). But it's endearing for what it is, and I imagine that if the series had existed when I was part of the target audience, I would have loved it. I definitely recommend it to children's chapter book readers--and it's a must read for A to Z Mysteries fans, of course!

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