Clover believes wholeheartedly in luck, but she feels that hers is all bad. First, her best friend, Emma, gets a last-minute spot at summer-long pony camp, but not Clover. Then, while Clover plays with her new pet canary, a baseball crashes through the window, allowing the bird to escape. Clover gives chase and ends up in The Woods (“where wee beasties play”), where she spots a notice calling for volunteers at an animal adoption agency. Unlucky or not, Clover is hopeful this could be her opportunity to spend time with animals and do something worthwhile.
Though reluctant, Mr. Jams, who runs the Magical Animal Adoption Agency, accepts Clover’s offer to volunteer, introducing her to the animals currently up for adoption. These include: a cursed toad; five fairy horses; two fire salamanders; a baby dragon; and half a dozen unicorns. When Mr. Jams leaves Clover in charge for several days, she realizes that her bad luck is nothing compared to that of these special animals, who have been abandoned or mistreated. It is up to her to care for Esmeralda, Snort, Moondrop, and the others, and ensure that only good-hearted people are allowed to adopt them.
While the title may suggest a vacuous series devised to ride the popularity of fantasy animals to commercial success, author Kallie George proves that she has a stronger mandate. Like her picture books Spark and Flare, and early reader The Melancholic Mermaid (all Simply Read Books), Clover’s Luck promotes positive messages about self-acceptance and compassion wrapped in a charming story featuring an oddly endearing assortment of magical creatures. With the second and third instalments already slated for release in 2015 and 2016 respectively, readers have plenty of time to embrace their belief in magic and look forward to enchantment of the literary and imaginary kind.