Magic Poetry: A Bit TOO Stiff for My Taste


Magic Poetry: Illustrated Children's Verse for Ages 3-7

This collection of children’s poetry spans over a forty year period. Taking a break from serious writing, I remembered some of the songs and poems I wrote as a young teenager. I thought I’d share them here with you now. They may not be ‘classics’ by no means but I hope your children or grandchildren will find fun in reading them.

The one thing about poetry, I believe, is that it’s everlasting. Words are beautiful and uplifting if they are used in the right way. I hope that by sharing this collection of poetry, it will introduce young minds to a world of endless opportunities. Imagination is like the Universe…endless in its possibilities.

I hope that this work will encourage young minds. I also hope that exploring the mystical realm will ignite creativity to encourage future writers to astound us with their imaginings. It starts with a few simple words.

46 Pages
Publication Date: August 1st, 2015
Get a copy here!

Quick Reasons: cute and fun; full of fantastical creatures; some of the rhyming felt a bit stiff or forced to me; I wish there had been more “moral” poems; love the graphics/illustrations

Huge thank you to Píaras Ó Cionnaoith for sending me a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.



This is a super adorable, super fun collection of fantastical children’s poems. I really adored and appreciated the illustrations/graphics that separate each poem and give a “glimpse” into the character coming up–they helped to break up the pages and to keep the flow moving, if that makes sense?

I do wish, though, that a bit more story-telling had been put into the poems. Several of them seem to be saying the same thing– how excited about the fantastical creatures the poet is, and that’s great! But I felt as if a lot of the poems introduced a character in very simple ways and then ended without telling a story or leaving me with anything to think about. Don’t get me wrong, I know this is a children’s book/a collection of children’s poetry, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be poems with stories or morals! Just look at Shel Silverstein, for instance–his poems are super quirky and sometimes very wild, but they all make a statement of some kind. Dr. Seuss is much the same way.


I did have fun taking a walk through this author’s world. There were a few poems scattered throughout that seemed to be making a moral statement or passing along a lesson, and these proved to be some of my favorites. Several of the poems, though, didn’t present the creature in question in any new or inventive ways, instead calling upon the more well-known lore, which was disappointing–they felt a bit like pieces of cardboard, to me, plopped onto a page without really being colored in as individualized, unique characters.

While the rhyming was sing-songy and fun, I also felt like a lot of it came off as stiff or forced. Several times, I came across poems that changed up the meter or rhyme scheme so much, I couldn’t figure out what rhythm to read them with–I imagine, if I’d been reading this to a child, it might have sounded a bit awkward or mismatched.



Overall, this was a cute read with a ton of adorable illustrations, but I’m not sure I enjoyed it as much as I’d been hoping to going in. While there are a ton of characters and creatures covered, they didn’t really stand up on their own–they felt a bit stiff and unnatural, instead of leaping to life off the pages. I was, in the end, left feeling slightly disappointed, though there were several poems scattered throughout that I might revisit in the future. Still, I recommend this to readers with young children, lovers of fantastical/mythical creatures, and poet enthusiasts of all ages!


Since You’ve Been Gone: Am I the Only One Who Gets This Song Stuck in My Head Every Single Time?!


Since You've Been Gone

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um…

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait…what?

449 Pages
Simon & Schuster Publishing
Publication Date: May 6th, 2014
Get a copy here!

Quick Reasons: cutesy contemporary/romance; this book was light-hearted, entertaining, and SO much fun; my first Morgan Matson read (shocker, I know); I fell in love with the characters immediately…and then found myself wishing I could be friends with them, too; great use of a quasi-mystery theme throughout; just slightly predictable, though endearing, plot/characters

I can hear you all now. “What do you mean, you read a book that wasn’t for review?! Is the world ending?! Should I be running for cover to protect my dear penguin head?!”

No, readers, no–though the next sentence may ALSO come as a bit of a shock. This was my very first Morgan Matson read…and I LOVED. EVERY. MINUTE.


So. I’m on vacation, as I’m sure you’re all very much aware by now. I totally meant to continue reading two of the review request books I’ve received in recent weeks. Boarded the plane, opened up one, then the other…..and decided I’d really, REALLY much rather read something entirely different. Because I’m on VACATION. Why should I spend the entire week working when I could, you know, spend it only sort of quasi-working? And so I picked this book…and I have to admit, now, I sort of see what all the hype is about.

The characters in this book have got to be my absolute favorite part. I loved how quirky, realistic, and human they come across as–it’s obvious, just reading the first couple of pages, that Morgan Matson knows what she’s doing when she’s writing characters. The voice, while first person and therefore limited in a certain number of ways, was super entertaining–at turns endearing, heart-wrenching, and exceptionally snarky. I have to admit, I giggled like a lunatic pretty much throughout the entire read (or, at least, those moments when I didn’t think I’d freak anyone near me out).


I also really enjoyed the “strangers to friends to lovers” relationship that Emily and Frank develop over the course of this adventure. While Emily essentially, in a sense, loses both a friend AND herself at the beginning of this book, I feel as if the list from Sloane–and, subsequently, meeting the rest of this lively, energetic crew–really helped to draw her out of herself and develop her personality, which I appreciated. Too often in books like these, I feel as if the main character doesn’t always get so well-rounded out in the course of the read; Morgan Matson RAN with Emily, and crafted her into a version of human I could totally see myself trying to befriend, if faced with such a personality in real life.

There are, of course, some of the same old tropes played throughout–including the fact that Frank, at the beginning of and throughout most of this book, has a girlfriend/is in a serious relationship. But this didn’t bother me nearly as much as I know it bothers some other readers–people grow apart. Things like this happen all the time in real life. And Frank? Well, he’s a pretty adorable little floofball–I can’t help but love him. (Do you think anyone would notice if I tore him out of these pages and stuck him in my closet for safe-keeping? Cause… I don’t think anyone would…)


I had a TON of fun reading this, and will definitely be picking up other Morgan Matson books in the future. The characters are well-rounded and beautifully realistic; the romance was endearing and well-written; and I really enjoyed the familial relationships portrayed–especially those juxtaposed by Emily and Frank’s parents. I recommend this to lovers of cutesy contemporaries, seekers of their next book boyfriend, and those who like just a little bit of a mystery to their every day. I can’t wait to dive into this author’s work again–if you have recommendations for me on which to read next, feel free to let me know!