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Reviewed by Jean Hall for Readers' Favorite
Here in the pages of Sasha and the Magic Pen, friends come to life. Author Saragine Francois tells a story about dreams that are fulfilled. Javier Duarte illustrates the girl's family and school life in subtle black and white. Sasha is by her own description a "nerdy" girl. She wants to fit in and have true friends. Sasha has a sister named Malia so there are parallels to the real-life Obama family in the White House. But the parallels are in name only and the characters have their own story to tell.
The story begins to have a dream-like quality when Sasha finds a shiny object in the dirt. When her pointy pencil is broken she uses what becomes a magic pen to write her class essay on the subject of friends. Once the power of the pen is released, the main character in the book that she is basing her essay on comes to life. Ursa, the true friend that Sasha wishes for is suddenly in her bedroom, floating in the air. There is a pulsating, beautiful rose and a strange and wonderful creature named Bo. Bo begins his experience in the household as a stray puppy who is found at the front door. From there, things get even more strange. Bo begins to speak and he has human hands. Mom gets in on the secret eventually. There is a lot of realistic dialogue between the two girls and their mother. The illustrations are well-placed and they emphasize key plot points. Saragine Francois' Sasha and the Magic Pen is a charming flight of fancy.