via Open Library.
I decided not to include a read-alikes list. Writing the review felt weird enough.
I've been trying out Open Library, and this was the book I used to test out Open Library PDFs. I'm not a fan of PDF e-books, so I figured shorter was better. I chose Misty Morgan because I remembered having it and other Serendipity children's books when I was younger.
Misty Morgan is about a workaholic princess and her unicorn friend. The princess spends her days running around her castle, winding up her many clocks and doing various chores. Morgan, her unicorn friend, wants to play with her, but she doesn't have time. Eventually, the annoyed princess shouts at her friend, who, distraught, wanders into the Misty Meadows. Some time later, the princess realizes the horrible thing she has done and goes after Morgan, but it may be too late.
Literally all I could remember about this book before I checked it out was that it had pretty unicorn pictures. The illustrations are probably the best thing about the book. The colors are delicate, and the illustrator is at her best when drawing Morgan and pretty landscapes. Unfortunately, the princess doesn't look nearly as wonderful. The illustrations mostly depict her from behind. I don't know if this was to more easily allow children to imagine themselves in her place, or because something was a little off about the princess's facial proportions. The princess's face was only visible in one illustration.
The story is okay, I guess, as long as you don't mind really heavy-handed messages. For those who somehow miss the message in the story itself, it's restated both on the cover and at the end of the book: “There is a time for work and a time for play. Share time with your friends before they go away!” (32).
The workaholic aspect is weird and would seem to be more applicable to parents than to children, but, having been an Army brat, I suppose I can see the broader message of “Spend time with your friends while you can, because you never know when they (or you) will go away.”
That said, I don't know if the message would make much of an impact on kids. Child Me remembered the pictures far better than the story. I also disagree with the back of the book, which says that the story “teaches youngsters how to deal with the challenges of their world, providing them with positive solutions to difficult problems.” This book had something very specific to say (three times), but it didn't actually “teach” much. The princess went from one extreme, working all the time, to another, throwing her watch away and running off to play with her friend. There was nothing about how to recognize when she'd worked enough and needed to take time to play, or when she'd played enough and needed to get back to work.
Okay, I think I've picked this poor children's book apart enough for tonight. Child Me would probably say “Yay, a pretty unicorn who wants to play with a little girl! I want to be that little girl!” Adult Me says “Meh.”
I have one Open Library EPUB book checked out at the moment, and it's riddled with errors (lots of quotation marks turned into 4 and /). The most annoying errors happen at what I'm assuming are the beginnings of new scenes - there are words or possibly whole paragraphs missing, and the scenes begin in the middle of a sentence. It's very jarring.
This Open Library e-book was much nicer in that regard - no errors at all, and the scans looked pretty good. On the minus side, page turns were kind of slow.