FeaturedPicture Books

One More Year


Loved it! 😍

Unicorns, wizards, fairies and more…A tale of magical adventures bound to inspire and spark any young reader’s imagination…

Allison Ione Ballenger’s One More Year is a tale of all the magical joys one longs to experience in childhood. Dedicated to the author’s brother, who she calls “the magic maker”, the story follows a boy who regales his younger sister with stories of the magical adventures that she will get to experience as she reaches each birthday. From a Dumbledore-esque wizard in a tree, to grumpy elves and mighty dragons, all manner of fairytale creatures are covered as the girl’s (and the reader’s) imagination is sparked, and it is certain that—at the beginning at least—she cannot wait to reach her next birthday and meet the next magical character. By a series of unfortunate events, the promised adventure never materialises quite as she expected, but her brother keeps her convinced, whilst offering to play with her whilst she waits. The boy in the story is the perfect big brother, teaching his little sister patience and kindness by his own example, and never tiring of playing with her. 

The story contains a tinge of sadness, perhaps more so for the adult reader than the child, reminding us that with each birthday the magic and innocence of childhood grows less and less, until it eventually fades. As the plot moves on, we see the girl becoming more and more disillusioned, saddened that with each birthday the promised magic has not been delivered.  This does, however, teach children an important lesson: that we can make our own magic, and that waiting around for something to happen to us without any action on our part is never the solution. It is this message that allows the book to end on a happier note and helps us to reflect on how far make-believe can go in creating an incredibly fun childhood.

With beautiful and extremely colourful illustrations by Carlos Vélez Aguilera, each page draws the reader in instantly, being filled with the magical creations of which childhood dreams are made. The rhyming structure and wonderful rhythm makes for an enjoyable read that any child would want to hear over and over again until they can chant it by themselves. Best suited for children under eight years old, I highly recommend the book for parents and teachers to read to their children to inspire their imagination and, in doing so, encourage them to create their own magical adventures. 

Now, where is my magic wand?

Reviewed by

As a teacher and editor, I am incredibly interested in educational research and in sharing excellent educational books (for both children and adults) with the wider community. I am a huge fan of historical fiction and fantasy novels, as well as classic literature. Reading is definitely my passion!


There's magic to be found in every moment...if you just keep looking.

In this colorful tale, a big brother introduces his little sister to the many characters she might encounter with each passing year. From elves in drawers to mighty dragons to snakes that sing sweet songs, there is always something exciting to look forward to--and plenty of fun to have in the meantime.

About the author

Allison Ione Ballenger has always loved silly stories. The youngest of three children (and somewhat gullible by nature), she was the perfect audience for her older siblings' hijinks and tall tales. They taught her to always be on the lookout for magic, which is a gift she enjoys sharing today. view profile

Published on November 19, 2020

Published by Warren Publishing, Inc.

0-1000 words

Genre: Picture Books

Reviewed by