Fantastic Top Five — Single-Serve Fantasy Reads

Fantastic Top Fives is a meme for Wyrd & Wonder, a monthlong celebration in May of all things fantasy.

This week’s topic:

Top Five Single-Serve Fantasy Reads


Now I know this calls for short works such as short stories and novellas, but I really want to talk about picture books because I love them and think more adults should give them a chance. Plus, they fit the category — being books you can read in a single sitting — and these will be great recommendations for your kids.

The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi (illus.), transl. from the Japanese by Kids Can Press

Because her father had forgotten the pie for grandma, Kikko decides to follow his footsteps in the snow to grandma’s house to deliver it. But instead, she crashes a tea party in the woods hosted by a bunch of animals. It’s a sweet story that strongly reminded me of Little Red Riding Hood and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The illustrations are wonderful and detailed and helped to emphasize the similarity to Little Red Riding Hood and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg (illus.)

One morning, Minna Shaw, a widow, found that a witch had crash-landed in her vegetable patch. After recovering, the witch continues on her way leaving behind her broom, which she believed to have run out of magic. But to Minna’s surprise, the broom has just enough magic left to help her with chores around the house. This one was a great read that would also be perfect for fall- and Halloween-themed TBRs.

The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin, illus. by Luis Royo

About a young girl’s friendship with a legendary creature. It’s a good read, but sad. And since I now know about a bit about the Snow Queen/Child fairytale, I think it touches on that too or was partially influenced by it. I didn’t love the illustration style at first, but it has grown on me.

Oona by Kelly DiPucchio, illus. by Raisa Figueroa

It’s about a little mermaid named Oona hunting for treasure along the ocean floor with her best friend Otto, an otter. I enjoyed it, although the end felt a bit unresolved. I loved the illustrations more. They are gorgeous and are why I bought a copy because this was a cover buy. The illustration of Oona on the cover drew me to the book.

How the Stars Came to Be by Poonam Mistry (illus.)

Written like a fairytale, this story is about a girl who helped create the stars and their constellations as a way to guide her father, a fisherman, safely home. It’s a simple story, but what really stands out about this book are the gorgeous illustrations. I read it earlier this year but haven’t done a review yet.


That’s it for the fantasy picture books I have to recommend. If you know of any others, please share them below.

17 thoughts on “Fantastic Top Five — Single-Serve Fantasy Reads

  1. Oh, round of applause for this intepretation.

    Not quite the same but have you ever looked at Tolkien’s Father Christmas Letters?

    You might also enjoy Kittyquest, although it’s aimed at a fairly young crowd

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  2. I absolutely loved The Ice Dragon, though I’ve yet to see the illustrated edition. I will reread it one day, perhaps after I find one that edition. And I remember seeing you talk about others by Akiko Miyakoshi. I like the style of art and the general premise of the books.

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    1. It’s certainly worth checking out the illustrated version. Maybe the library has a copy. And totally check out Akiko Miyakoshi’s work too 🙂

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  3. I gave graphic novels a chance and it was one of the best reading decisions I ever made!! So many good stories are told in pictures. You’re right that you can read them in one sitting, which is great when I want to read fantasy but don’t have much energy for reading. Graphic books have kept me out of a few reading slumps over the past few months.

    Liked by 1 person

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