The Triplets Get Charmed

Pixel+Ink. (Trillium Sisters: Bk. 1). Jun. 2021. 128p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781645950141.
Gr 1-3–Eight-year-old triplets Emmy, Clare, and Giselle are planning a surprise to celebrate the day their veterinarian father found them in the woods and made them a family. Their dad has a special “Founding Day” gift, too: a charm for each of them in the shape of a trillium flower petal, found alongside them (and their animal companions) when they were babies. When their little brother Zee tries to help with the surprise and ends up in serious danger, the charms magically combine, giving each girl a superpower. Once Zee is safely rescued, the sisters’ newly discovered powers wear off, leaving them and readers with more questions than answers—ostensibly to be explored in future installments. The story is plot driven and, aside from Zee’s rescue, largely unresolved. Character development is wanting; with little to make each protagonist distinctive, all three of them feel more or less interchangeable, and secondary characters are flat as well. Much of the dialogue is exclamatory, contributing to the markedly cheerful tone of the writing. In the cover art, the sisters are depicted in varying skin tones, though they are never described in the text; interior illustrations are rendered in grayscale.
VERDICT The upbeat tone and mysterious origin story may attract some readers, but this series opener lacks substance. Those with a taste for superpowers or magic are better served by series like Kara West’s “Mia Mayhem.”

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