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Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite
A Stroke of Magic is a children’s story by Brunella Costagliola. Discovery Casa is a retirement home where Alex and Emma spend time while their mother works as a nurse. Alex and Emma are seven-year-old twins, and they enjoy the candy and child-friendly tattoos on offer in the gumball machines in the lobby. One day, they meet Layla, a six-year-old girl, who seems to share their interests. Layla shows them her Discovery Diary and takes them to her grandmother’s house. Layla’s grandmother tells them about Art, a mysterious new resident, and the children search for him, finding a magical adventure.
Friendship and discovery are major themes in the book. Relevant facts are revealed seamlessly as the story moves along, and the author uses native dialects, foods, and traditions to familiarize readers with the setting and characters. Readers learn facts about certain aspects of history and science as they travel through time, meeting Mary Anning and speaking to her about her dinosaur discoveries. Upon completion of their journey, the children are tasked with spreading their knowledge about the period of time they witnessed. As a creative bonus, the author includes the drawings from the story at the end of the book for readers to color and send to her. Readers will be captivated by the magical realism and encouraged to relate the details of Brunella Costagliola’s amazing story. The book is wonderfully written, and A Stroke of Magic will make a beautiful and informative addition to any library or children’s bookshelf.