"Gough cleverly mines that book’s legends, folk tales and Greek mythology, along with the works of Frank Baum and Lewis Carroll, to create settings and challenges that pay homage to classic children’s literature. At times, the narrative, geared for children ages 10 and up, can seem a bit derivative, but the charm is genuine and the laughs are frequent, as when the goddess Ceres first appears as a female Jabba the Hutt, attended by nymphs gone to seed. Gough also makes ample use of nonsensical rhythms and onomatopoeia to keep a lively pace, and her imagining of Under’s vast framework of roots and rocks is richly realized in earthly textures and sounds. The theme of finding one’s place in the world underlies the plot in this, the first in the four-part Emma and the Elementals series. Although magic abounds, it’s satisfying to see Emma find her identity with her own power.
"A lighthearted, whimsical confection that will delight both kids and their parents’ inner child. "
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