MS. LOVE'S MYSTICAL
by Susan Love
Illustrated by Patrick Harrington
Mystic Sea Lady Publisher
ages 4 to 7
Sabrina, Arthur, Miguel, and Lucy arrive on Ms. Love’s Mystical Island bursting with excitement. The young explorers have been chosen to witness the flowering of a rare and magical orchid, which blooms once every century with an explosion of light and energy—mysteriously repairing Earth’s ozone layer. But Ms. Love greets the children with devastating news: The scientists hoping to study the orchid’s secret power are not coming, and a massive hurricane is headed their way. If the destructive storm strikes the island while the fragile orchid is in bloom, this extraordinary plant will be wiped out forever.
There is only one hope—the Magic Power Flower—a flower-shaped crystal that once magically protected the island from danger. Although Sunflower, Ms. Love’s mother, possesses the flower’s centerpiece, the other hidden pieces must be found—and found quickly—if the island and its precious orchid are to be saved. As the hurricane rapidly approaches, the children and Ms. Love race against time to complete seemingly impossible tasks: decode the ancestor’s map, discover and unravel the clues to find the missing pieces, and safely return this supernatural power source to Sunflower—unless Ms. Love’s jealous, power-hungry Rivals find and steal the sacred flower first.
Sabrina, Arthur, Miguel and Lucy can't believe their luck! Out of everyone at their school, they were selected to take a flight to an exotic island to view a moment which rarely takes place—an orchid will bloom, whose energy can save the ozone layer. At the island, the children run into Ms. Love, a woman as exotic as the island itself. When she receives notice that a terrible storm is moving that could wipe out the orchid, the search for another magical flower begins.
This would make a great read-aloud. The text is more thought for sure readers, but even younger ones will be entranced by this fun tale. Every few pages comes a new chapter. This offers the perfect breaks to set the book down until the next reading (or continue on, which kids will most likely wish would happen). The fast-paced keeps every moment exciting, and there are even times of high tension as the question pops up as to whether or not the kids can pull the tasks off. It's excitement pure.
Ms. Love is magical in powers as well as appearance, and the island around her lets dreams take flight. The four kids behave fairly normal, making them easy to connect with. And they are adventurous and brave! It's hard not to wish that one could be there with them, trying to find all the pieces to the magical flower.
And here she is...
Susan Love has experienced the foster care system firsthand when at the age of 5 was rescued from a fire that destroyed everything her family owned and left her mother unable to take care for her and her siblings. Her passion is to provide these children with a strong support system, mentor, and to make changes to the current system of foster care.
When Susan Love was new to teaching, she was a little depressed by her classroom. The room was infested by mice and roaches. The kids were uninspired, the parents uninterested. She was sure the year would be a failure until her trip to the Caribbean guided her to feel refreshed in which she decided to turn the classroom into an "Island of Learning" and encouraged her students, many of whom had island backgrounds, to write stories.
To her surprise, the children wrote island stories about her and suddenly she decided to create her own Ms. Love island story incorporating the kids creative ideas and decided to share it with the rest of the world.