Thursday, February 6, 2014

On the Spotlight: Magical Matthew, by Penelope Anne Cole

Title:   Magical Matthew, Magical Mea
Genre:  Children’s books
Author:  Penelope Anne Cole
Publisher:  Guardian Angel Publishing


Matthew has a secret. In Magical Matthew, a young boy with magical powers secretly fixes things for his family and friends. Later, Matthew expands his magical good deeds by fixing things in his neighborhood. His close friend Lily suspects something is special about him. Worried that Lily will guess his secret, Matthew confides in Grandma Nonie. Should he share his secret with Lily? Matthew must decide whether to tell her the truth or not.

This is a sweet story about using your gifts and talents to help others. It also deals with differences, challenges, and changes as one grows up.



At age four, Matthew knew he had a special talent.  When he played with his toys and one broke, he would just look at it and wish it fixed.  And it became like new again.  He knew then he had the gift of magic. 
     From then on, he got very good at finding broken things and fixing them.  If his Mom’s watch stopped working, later it would be working again.  If his Father’s favorite pen wouldn’t write in the morning, it would write again in the afternoon. 
     If a tire turned up flat in the morning, Matthew could often fix it before his Dad even saw it.  Like the good elves and fairies, Matthew delighted in fixing things.  But he didn’t tell anyone his secret.  He knew grown-ups didn’t believe in magic.  They probably thought their eyes played tricks on them, since later things worked fine. 
     But Matthew would smile, look in the mirror, and say to himself:
“Magic me, magic me. 
What do I see when I look at me?
I see a boy with a magic mind
To fix broken things like new,
To make things nice again, too
That’s what I see when I look at me.”
     He kept his secret to himself; his magical gift to his family.
     Matthew had a friend, who lived next door, named Lily.  They had known each other since preschool.  She had a lovely voice and smile, and she made him laugh a lot.  They enjoyed spending time and playing games together. 
     Matthew had tried to fix Lily.  But he couldn’t.  No matter how hard he tried to picture her walking, she couldn’t walk.  Then he knew his magical powers could only fix things
     Lily asked why he sometimes stared at her very intently, but Matthew said he liked to look at her and didn’t tell her about his secret.
     However, Lily noticed that things worked better with Matthew around.  Her wheelchair didn’t ever get stuck when they went places together.  She didn’t hear any squeaks, or rattles, or other odd noises from her chair.  In fact, everything seemed to work better with Matthew there.
     Things didn’t break.  Toys looked like new.  Everywhere they went looked nice.
     One day they hurtled down the street, her chair hit a crack in the sidewalk, and the wheel came loose.  But then, quick as a wink, it tightened right up.  And the crack in the sidewalk smoothed over when they passed on by.
     That’s when Lily knew Matthew had magic in him.  She decided to watch him very closely after that.

About the author: 

Before writing and reviewing children’s books, Penelope Anne Cole taught every grade level. She tutors elementary, middle, and high school students. Reading to children to help them read on their own and love books is a special joy for Ms. Cole. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and
Illustrators and the Fremont Area Writers Group of the California Writers Club, and is a Certified Phonographix Reading Therapist with Read America, has a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, a Liberal Arts B.A. (English Major), and an M.A. in Education.  She lives in Santa Clara, California with her family and their rescued dogs and cats.

Ms. Cole's Magical Matthew (2012) is the first in her Magical series. Magical Mea is second (2013). MĆ”gico Mateo (2013) is the Spanish Version of Magical Matthew. Next is Magical Mea Goes to School, with Magical M and M to follow. Magical Matthew won a Readers' Favorite Bronze Medal, Creative Child Magazine’s Book of the Year Award, and NABE’s Pinnacle Book Achievement Award. Magical Mea won Creative Child Magazine’s Preferred Choice Award, NABE’s Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, and was a Readers' Favorite Finalist.

Connect with Penelope on the Web:


Janet Halfmann: said...

Thanks for sharing Penelope Anne Cole's new book. It sounds fascinating!

Donna McDine said...

Thank you for profiling Penny and her latest book. It's a gem as well as Penny!

Janet Ann Collins said...

I care a lot about kids with special needs, so this book resonates with me.

Magic Carpet of 16x Books said...

Penny's "Magical" series is a fun learning experience. Both the Matthew and the Mea books give kid readers food for thought.

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penelope anne cole said...

Thank you Janet, Donna, Janet, and Margot for your kind words of support. I hope to get my book out to parents, teachers, and grandparents who can share it with their kids.