Verdict: Magical creatures, dynamic writing, and silly humor combine to create a heartwarming story about acceptance and teamwork in TINSEY CLOVER.
Tinsey may be a math whiz, but she can’t carry a tune to save her life—and singing is the only skill that matters in her elfin forest village. The young, spunky elf just knows she would fit in with the numbers-loving elves on the other side of the forest, but her village has been walled off for generations because her people fear the other magical beings of the forest.
TINSEY CLOVER follows Tinsey as she ventures out to meet the other elves and explore the forest for the first time. Nothing in the forest is what she expected, and soon the misfit elf must embark on a dangerous quest to save her people—but is she saving them from a true threat? Or from their own mistaken beliefs about life beyond their wall?
Along the way, Tinsey discovers a silly superpower that seems useless, especially when she compares it to her brother’s ability to communicate with animals. In Tinsey’s mind, her power and love of math make her an outsider in her own family. When Tinsey meets the charmingly earnest troll Judder and learns he would rather be a gourmet chef than roll in mud, she begins to celebrate his differences instead of fearing them. Author Chelsea Walker Flagg explores many forms of acceptance throughout the novel: as Tinsey learns to embrace what makes others special, she also learns to accept herself.
At its core, TINSEY CLOVER is a story about the power of forming second impressions. By showing the different approaches Tinsey, Judder, and their families take when meeting someone they’ve been taught to fear or dislike, Flagg frames the process of unlearning prejudices in a way that will resonate with both young readers and their parents. Although the dialogue includes some awkward phrasing and over-explanation, Tinsey’s spunky and inquisitive narrative voice keeps the story moving. Kids are sure to giggle out loud at the creative ways Tinsey uses her bizarre power throughout her journey.
Magical creatures, dynamic writing, and silly humor combine to create a heartwarming story about acceptance and teamwork in TINSEY CLOVER.
~Cameron Gillespie for IndieReader