5.0 out of 5 stars It is fun to do good,
November 29, 2012
This review is from: Magical Matthew (Hardcover)I can see my son in this story. As a child, he identified with superman to the extent that he wanted to wear his superman pajamas, all day every day. He is not alone in his desire to have super powers. How wonderful to able to get things done, with the wink of an eye, like a genie. In Ms. Cole's story, Matthew discovered he had magical powers at the age of four, to be able to fix things. He loves fixing things clandestinely, using his powers for the benefit of himself (fixing broken toys, mending clothes) and his family (repairing things around his home). We see him mature with his gift, having compassion, by wanting to fix the legs of his paralyzed friend, Lily, but sadly discovering that there was a limit to his powers. Since he spent a lot of time with her, she eventually suspects his secret power. This story of Matthew lifts our spirits, as he is a kind and thoughtful boy delighting in making his world a better place. Ms. Cole uses her story as a means of teaching children that they are not helpless, nor alone. She unveils the close relationship he shares with his grandmother, in showing that he trusts her enough to tell her his secret. She empathizes with him of the difficulty and necessity of keeping his powers secret. But, she points out that other people can be trusted too, but not everyone, asking him if he thinks he can trust his secret to Lily. He thinks about this and decides that she is trustworthy. Because Lily is trusted with his secret, they both learn that more can be accomplished by working together. They delight in their daily neighborhood search for things that can be improved. This story is not scary. There is no Lex Luther, or monster, to give your child nightmares. Instead, they will gain the confidence to discover the gifts that they were born with. Unfortunately, there are no Magic Matthew pajamas for your child--the author will have to work on that one. I am looking forward to reading more stories by Penelope Anne Cole.