Review of Penelope Anne Cole’s Magical Matthew

It is my pleasure to introduce Penelope Anne Cole and her picture book for kids ages 4-9, Magical Matthew.  This books is published by Guardian Angel Publising





Penelope Anne Cole is an observer. When she noticed a child moving into “double digits,” she wondered how she could put this aging process into a book for children. Magical Matthew is the result. She herself is much like Matthew; she has worked helping people as a Human Resources person and as a teacher. Ms. Cole has a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Jose State University and a Masters in Human Development Education from the University of Maryland.

What kid wouldn’t want to have special powers—like the one Matthew has? Matthew can magically fix things, but he keeps it a secret for a long time. It’s important that whoever learns about the secret can be trusted. Lily, Matthew’s good friend, helps him find things that need to be fixed. When she figures out about the secret power, Matthew shares everything with his grandma. Grandma wonders if Lily can be trusted and Matthew says he thinks she can. But suddenly Matthew no longer has his power. He lost his last baby tooth and this is a signal that he’s getting too old. At first he’s angry, but Grandma convinces him there are other ways to fix things, even though those ways take more effort. He and Lily will continue to do good deeds. But the power to fix things isn’t lost. When you read the book you will see how the spirit of helpfulness lives on!

Kevin Collier’s illustrations show just how excited and astonished Matthew is when he realizes he has this power and later, his disappointment when he outgrows it. It’s very interesting the way Kevin interpreted Penelope’s poem about the way Matthew sees himself. Together, Penelope and Kevin have created characters whom young readers will be happy to know and parents will find trustworthy.

disclaimer: I purchased a copy of Magical Matthew from Guardian Angel Publishing in order to review it. I enjoyed it and think it is a worthwhile book to  add to any child’s collection. The book is also available at Amazon and Barnes and Nobel.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tina Cho
    Nov 16, 2012 @ 03:20:12

    I wish I had Matthew’s power to fix things! Sounds like a good premise. Thanks for sharing, Barbara.


  2. Nancy Stewart
    Nov 16, 2012 @ 08:26:19

    Lovely book and terrific review. I so enjoyed reading Magical Matthew and finding that he is patterned after a real-life child, with a magic all his own!


  3. Margo Dill
    Nov 16, 2012 @ 08:38:20

    Kids love magic–heck, I do, too. I’m glad Penelope’s book is getting such great reviews. She deserves it! 🙂


  4. Penelope Anne Cole
    Nov 16, 2012 @ 11:18:27

    Thanks Barbara — and everyone — for such lovely words of support. Some stories almost write themselves and you just hang on for the ride. I loved writing this story (and Matthew asked about it every week! He is very pleased.) Thank you all.


  5. barbarabockman
    Nov 16, 2012 @ 12:09:04

    Hi Tina, Nancy, and Margo, this is a fun book–and heck, I love magic, too!

    Penny, you can see that everyone loves your concept and the way you presented it. Give our regards to the real Matthew.


  6. susan Hornbach
    Nov 16, 2012 @ 13:39:54

    Wishing you great success Penny. Thanks Barbara, I too have reviewed Magical Matthew. It will be posted on the Write Voice on Monday.


  7. evelynchristensen
    Nov 16, 2012 @ 19:58:20

    Sounds like a fun story and a good way for kids to see that helpfulness is a desirable trait. I could definitely use that fix-it magic around here! Congratulations, Penelope.


  8. Janet Ann Collins
    Nov 17, 2012 @ 10:58:28

    I enjoyed reading that book and hope it helps lots of kids want to help others.


  9. barbarabockman
    Nov 17, 2012 @ 15:31:23

    Susan, I’ll come visit you on Monday; there can’t be too many reviews of Magical Matthew.
    Ev, You’re right about the book; sorry I can’t help you with the fix-it magic.
    Janet Ann, I think the book will be a good influence.


  10. Penelope Anne Cole
    Dec 12, 2012 @ 01:29:08

    Thank you everyone for all your wonderful supportive comments!


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