Ah, so you don't know. I am here to tell you--and other moms of little girls will testify that it is true--there is much, much worse. There are books with "crystal" in the title, or "sparkle" or "fairy." Or just straight up "crystal magical castle of the sparkle diamond kitten fairy." These are the worst books in the world.
I accidentally got stuck reading one to the girls tonight and I was literally howling with laughter by the end. This particular book hit it almost perfectly, every single time. Just when I would start to lose faith and begin to think that the author might ruin everything and actually make sense for a minute, she would deliver in some new and spectacular way. Like, by introducing new characters (as if the fifteen she already had weren't enough). Two handsome twin musicians named Jeremy and Ian, for instance: "The girls found the funny twins quite charming, but they did not want to involve them on their quest. So they quietly slipped away when the twins weren't looking." (Wait--what? Why?)
But that brings us back to, ahh, yes...the Quest. There is always some extremely convoluted story that no five year-old could ever possibly follow. Someone is trapped in a mirror because her mother was the most beautiful and talented of all the magicians in the land, and as a young and foolish (though beautiful) girl, had promised a buttercup fairy that she would win the heart of a prince who would know the secret to making the world's most shimmering-est jewel EVER without using his hands because he lost them fighting valiantly against an evil beast who wanted to devour all the innocent babies of the kingdom, but then the kind yet gullible prince would be tricked by a jealous uncle who wanted to overthrow the prince's stepfather whose only love was to hunt down evil evildoers and make sure they can never escape their suspended prison of magical chains that never wear out or break and so on and so forth.
And along the way, the heroines have to make a narrow escape from being cast into a lake of fire or lava and then rescue some puppies.
And everyone has to have a name like Anastasia, Drusillia or Pumpernickelspaniel and anyway you couldn't possibly keep all the thousands of characters straight. Oh, and the bady guys' name will start with "L" so that it will alliterate nicely with "lair."
A favorite moment from tonight's book (just when I thought things couldn't get any stupider) was when the girls didn't realize that their heart-shaped Guardian Stones were actually protecting them from the evil muse's spell and they managed to escape to continue on their way to the Diamond Castle by way of the Misty Glade. (Yes!)
That's when I decided that I simply have to make up my own. I would--of course--not fail to remember the mythical creatures that this author neglected to include, each one with a diamond embedded in some part of their anatomy (in the horn, if it's a unicorn). And the diamond would always begin to sparkle as a warning to others of some imminent danger, or maybe simply when they are overcome by all the shimmering crystal beauty in the world.
Someone else would be able to fly, of course, and someone else would be endowed with extra-sensory powers and "just know" things without having to be told. The hairs on their forearms would most definitely stand on end in the presence of pure E-vil.
My only regret will be that there is no way to top the conclusion of tonight's tale. It's a hard act to follow--judge for yourselves:
"Dori and Phedra rewarded Liana and Alexa with a crystal carriage to take them home to their magically restored cottage. Then the muses gave Jeremy and Ian cool guitars. And they all danced to celebrate the triumph of music and friendship. The End."
*for anyone who might think I am making this up, that is actually the real name of the show. For reals.