Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Magic Mirror: A Branches Book (Once Upon a Fairy Tale #1)” as Want to Read:
The Magic Mirror: A Branches Book (Once Upon a Fairy Tale #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Magic Mirror: A Branches Book

(Once Upon a Fairy Tale #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  116 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Magic, friendship, and adventure are the perfect ingredients for a new twisted fairy tales Branches series from Anna Staniszewski!
Pick a book. Grow a Reader!

This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books wi
Paperback, 96 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Scholastic Inc.
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Magic Mirror, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Magic Mirror

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  116 ratings  ·  29 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Magic Mirror: A Branches Book (Once Upon a Fairy Tale #1)
@kidlitexchange #partner - Thank you KidlitExchange Network, Scholastic, Anna Staniszewski and Macky Pamintuanfor the ARC of THE MAGIC MIRROR - Number one in the about-to-be-brand new chapterbook series Once Upon a Fairy Tale. All opinions are my own.

Honestly, there are so many ways to do a retelling that it’s never going to get old - or at least I hope not! THE MAGIC MIRROR in particular is a fusion-retelling of The Snow Queen (the real Hans Christen Anderson one of course) and… the author’s wh
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
{My thoughts} – I am and have always been a huge fan of all things fairy tales. So of course I am very excited to be able to read and review this specific book for Scholastic!

Kara and Zed are your average kids in the Kingdom. Zed has a job as a royal messenger and he gets a letter from the Ice Princess that he is meant to deliver. He isn’t able to deliver though and his friend Kara sees that the seal is broken and decides to read it. Once she reads it she learns that the Ice Princess is in troub
Kate Waggoner
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
@Kidlitexchange #partner

Thank you to @scholasticinc and @anna.staniszewski for sharing this review copy with #KidLitExchange. All opinions are my own. The Magic Mirror (Once Upon a Fairy Tale #1) will hit shelves on September 3, 2019. Pre-order your copy today!

After reading an urgent letter from Aspen, the ice princess, Kara and Zed set off an adventure to help fix Aspen's broken mirror. Without the mirror, Aspen is unable to call on the clouds and bring winter back to the kingdom. Kara, Zed, an
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you @kidlitexchange for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own. This book is set to publish 9.3.19 and will be part of the popular early chapter book line Branches by @scholasticinc

The Magic Mirror is book 1 in the new Once Upon a Fairy Tale series. This whimsical story is sure to be a hit. It includes an enchanted kingdom, magical objects, feuding princesses, a good mystery and one cute Artic monkey named Clyde.

We really enjoyed the main characters, Kara and Zed. I always
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Once Upon a Fairy Tale #1: The Magic Mirror” by @annastanisz, is the first book in a new series in the Branches line from Scholastic. Kara and Zed are too hot during a kingdom heat wave. The two friends go an adventure to help the Ice Princess fix her magic mirror so she can cool the temperature. Kara and Zed end up helping the Ice Princess and her sister, the Sun Princess, repair their relationship so that the weather can cool down. My daughter’s (ages 8 and 5) both really enjoyed this book. I ...more
Anna and Zed live in the Enchanted Kingdom. Zed is a royal messenger. One day, Anna sees a message that was returned to sender. Apparently Prince Patrick has no interest in what Princess Aspen (the Ice Princess) has to say to him. But Anna does, so she opens the letter. Aspen is begging for help because her magic mirror is broken, so she can not bring winter to the Enchanted Kingdom. Zed thinks summer all year round is a good plan, but Anna knows that nature needs to take its course. So, she con ...more
*I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher through my district library services*

Like all the branches books, this is a cute illustrated beginning chapter book. I think the cover will be appealing to both boys and girls (unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I still have a lot of boys who refuse to read "girl" books) and the story will be a fun read for the intended audience. It does provide a little challenge to readers about making assumptions and giving people a chance.
This fun middle grade/early chapter book shows what can happen when sibling rivalry threatens to make a kingdom endure summer forever. The Enchanted Kingdom is experiencing a summer that just doesn't seem to quit. Kara and Zed intercept a piece of royal mail and find out that the Ice Princess' magic mirror is broken and she can't fix it. Without the mirror, she can't change the season back to winter. When they travel to her castle to help, they realize the mirror has a missing piece and the Ice ...more
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such a cute book! I don't love everything in Scholastic's Branches series, but I think this new series is going to be so fun! The Magic Mirror has everything a good fairy tale retelling should have - compelling characters, plot twists, a satisfying ending, and a meaningful message. All of these points are well done in an age-appropriate way, and the illustrations that accompany the story are beautiful and add another fun dimension to the story. I would definitely recommend this to young ...more
Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Kara, daughter of a shoemaker in a fairytale land, reads a letter from the ice princess Aspen, discovering that her magic mirror is broken and her realm is melting. Kara and her friend Zed head to the realm to see if they can solve the mystery before it is too late.

A unique idea, to pair mysteries and fairy tales. The books also have a modern feel and engaging pictures. This is a series sure to be loved by elementary children.
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cute beginning chapter book! Kara and Zed work together to discover why it’s been so hot: the snow princess has broken her magic mirror and can’t summon the winter!

A lot of plot for such a short book. The mystery is a little lame (how could a piece of glass stick to the bottom of a shoe and not break?), but I liked the feuding princesses and their Clyde solution.

I would definitely recommend!
Becky B
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A serious heat wave has hit the kingdom even though winter is supposed to be on the way. Kara and Zed learn that the ice princess cannot use her magic to bring winter because her magic mirror is broken. Can they help the princess fix her mirror?

This is a great introduction to the fantasy adventure genre for beginning readers. There's a little magical mystery to solve. A fun magic system to learn about, and an interesting array of characters to meet. Recommended to fantasy fans.
Jul 01, 2020 rated it liked it
I like the story. My 4 and 6 year old were entertained and eager to unravel the mystery presented to them. My ONLY COMPLAINT is the name Zed. Why oh why choose this name!!! Did anyone read this allowed?!? Zed said. Zed said. Zed said. It's everywhere!! So distracting. I'm thinking about changing his name.
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read about 2-3 chapters a night of this to my 4 year old and we both loved it. It was entertaining and easy to follow right away and held her attention. When she begs for “just one more chapter” after every one we ended, you know it’s a good one! I already bought the next in the series and we can’t wait to read that one too.
It seems that summer may never end, when Kara and Zed find a letter from Aspen the Ice Princess asking for help. Her magic mirror used to create winter is broken. Zed and Kara make their way to the Ice Palace where they begin to put together clues to uncover the mystery and restore balance to the seasons.

Teaching points: misunderstanding, teamwork, problem solving

Location: LES Library
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Adventure, magic and two feuding princesses! This latest series from Branches will be a great addition to classrooms. Loved the Q & A at the back of the book to help with discussions at home or in school. This series seems a bit more advanced than some of the others in the series-perfect for those ready to make the transition to chapter books! ...more
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really cute addition to the Branches series - I look forward to adding the Once Upon a Fairy Tale series to my classroom library! At 90 pages, it fits in character development, plot, a mystery, and cute illustrations!
Lara Samuels
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is perfect for readers who are ready for beginning chapter books with a more in-depth plot and text challenges. The names are unusual but overall the descriptive language will help readers develop the visualization skills.
Nov 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-chapter
This illustrated first chapter book is perfect for young Disnerds and fairy tale readers. It avoids heavily gendered storytelling, and Kara and Zed have roughly the same amount of page-time. The writing is straightforward, but descriptive for the target audience.

Lisa Casmer
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-reads-age-7
My 7 year old boy loved this book. He read it twice in two days and is looking forward to reading the other Once Upon a Fairy Tale books.
Mar 16, 2019 rated it liked it
A cute story of friendship and sisterhood. This series should be a good addition to the Branches family.
Pamela Powell
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great new series in the Scholastic Branches imprint. In this story, two princesses are feuding over a pet monkey and the whole Kingdom is in an uproar.
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was my first Once Upon a Fairy Tale and I LOVED it because it has a lot of fairy tale things and princesses and princes and unicorns and trolls. It's so cool!
Courtney Cole
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
My daughter loved us sitting in bed and read a couple chapters a night. Very easy for a first grader to follow along with.
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stella-2019
I think this book is about teaching how to fix problem together with out getting in a fight.
A global warming mystery.
Jun 27, 2019 marked it as to-read
Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher at ALA Annual 2019.
Miss Sarah
An early chapter book about a boy and a girl trying to help two princesses who are feuding reunite.
Ali (Ali's Bookshelf )
Love this book! This round I read it with my kids and they also loved it and can't wait to read the next book in the series.
rated it liked it
Mar 06, 2020
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Pug Blasts Off (Diary of a Pug #1)
  • Bo's Magical New Friend (Unicorn Diaries #1)
  • Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen
  • The Lost Stone (The Kingdom of Wrenly, #1)
  • Moldylocks and the Three Beards (Princess Pink and the Land of Fake Believe, #1)
  • The Ember Stone (The Last Firehawk, #1)
  • Secret of the Water Dragon (Dragon Masters #3)
  • Diana: Princess of the Amazons
  • Rise of the Earth Dragon (Dragon Masters, #1)
  • Leroy Ninker Saddles Up
  • The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party (The Princess in Black, #2)
  • Song of the Poison Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Masters #5)
  • The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde (The Princess in Black, #3)
  • Stealing the Sword (Time Jumpers #1)
  • Flight of the Moon Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Masters #6)
  • Power of the Fire Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Masters #4)
  • Bo and the Dragon-Pup (Unicorn Diaries, #2)
  • Search for the Lightning Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Masters, #7)
See similar books…
Anna Staniszewski lives in the Boston area and teaches in the MFA Writing for Children Program at Simmons College. She's the author of several tween novels, including THE DIRT DIARY and SECONDHAND WISHES, and the picture books POWER DOWN, LITTLE ROBOT and DOGOSAURUS REX. You can visit Anna at or follow her on Twitter at ...more

Other books in the series

Once Upon a Fairy Tale (4 books)
  • The Stolen Slipper: A Branches Book (Once Upon a Fairy Tale #2)
  • The Missing Dwarf: A Branches Book (Once Upon a Fairy Tale #3)
  • The Snoring Princess: A Branches Book (Once Upon a Fairy Tale #4)

Related Articles

  Tami Charles is a former teacher and the author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made...
31 likes · 49 comments