Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures, by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Steifvater (April 2015, Scholastic, older elementary/younger middle grade). Here's one for everyone who dreams of befriending magical creatures, and who has enough sense to realize that caring for unicorns, griffins, and a whole newly imagined slew of other fantastical animals isn't all rainbows and butterflies!
Young Pip Bartlett can talk to magical creatures, and in her version of our world, there are lots of them around to talk too! After a disastrous unicorn riding episode and its concomitant property damage (no one, including the unicorns, had warned her!) Pip is sent off to her Aunt Emma, veterinarian of the Cloverton Clinic for Magical Creatures for some solid learning and hard work. Though no one believes Pip can actually chat with the creatures, her gift is real, and when Aunt Emma's town becomes the site of a fuzzle infestation, it saves the day.
The fuzzles look cute enough, but as pets they have issues--bursting into flame when agitated or excited (which happens lots), and they breed faster than rabbits. No one likes the contents of their underwear drawers catching fire (underwear drawers being favored fuzzle hangouts), and Aunt Emma, the resident authority on magical creatures, is under a lot of pressure to contain the outbreak.
It takes a bit of sleuthing by Pip and her new friend Tomas (allergic to just about everything, including magical creatures, but still a stalwart companion) to find out what's behind the plague of fuzzles, but Pip is nothing if not determined...
It's fun and amusing, and pages from "Jeffrey Higgleston's Guide to Magical Creatures" interspersed with will please the young magical creature fan for whom the idea of chatting with griffins et al. seems wonderful, but who can handle the idea that not every such creature is going to have a rainbow/butterfly personality! It's an elementary/lower middle grade type book, an excellent one to offer a confidently reading third grade or fourth grader, and fans of Suzanne Selfor's Imaginary Veterinary Series should eat it up!
disclaimer: review copy received from the publisher