Lila: The Sign of the Elven Queen
by Mark J. Grant
Mascot Books

"One day you are leading a perfectly normal life, and then something happens and the whole thing gets tossed up in the air like leaves on a winter's day, and who knew how or where they all might land."

Lila is your average six-year-old girl. Polite, charming and a little bored. Fascinated by her uncle who owns two invisible dogs, she decides it is time for her to get her own and does what any polite little girl would do. She asks her parents whom think it is a fine idea. After all, they believe it is just pretend. However, when Lila actually finds an invisible dog, it is only the beginning of the magic along with the ensuing chaos. A delightful tale, Lila: The Sign of the Elven Queen, reminds its readers to believe in the impossible, that special feeling that magic might exist right under our noses.

Upon the arrival of Fluffy, the invisible and talking dog, Lila and her parents' world are forever altered. Lila was born with a special birthmark on her arm, which Fluffy believes is the sign of the Elven Queen. Fluffy introduces Lila and her parents to the invisible people all living in the cornerstones of New York City buildings. Suspense builds as Lila's home is visited by a representative of the Council of Elders as well as the princess herself. "When this mark appears on a girl, any sort of girl, it causes all kinds of commotion and all kinds of consequences and all sorts of jumble for the invisible people." What does the mark mean and what will become of Lila?

Grant succeeds in creating an imaginary world right on top of our own. Both there and not there, the layering effect of worlds teases with wonderment. Grant's book reads with the enchantment of a fairy tale, drawing the reader in through anticipation and charm, and it ends with the hope of more books to come.

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