NEONIKS AND MYSTIE THE FOX

an illustrated fantasy novel for kids

A 10-year-old wizard named Jay brings a tiny talking fox Mystie to school to show her to his friends. But a substitute teacher in a fur-coat with a lion head on its collar kidnaps Mystie and takes her away to unknown destination.
Jay and his sister Phoebe embark on a quest to get the little fox back, while learning important lessons on true friendship, creativity, and thinking outside the box.

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CHAPTER 1. THE MAGIC FOX

This summer all of Jay’s friends were going away on vacation. He could just picture how they were going to travel through the cities resting on the backs of giant turtles or search for Lake Uncatchable, which constantly changed its location… While Jay would be staying home and not even have anyone to play with.

“I’ll save up some magic and make myself a talking fox,” he announced to his older sister Phoebe.

“Remember my favorite stuffed animal I used to play with when I was little? I want the same one but alive. She’ll be smart, kind, and brave, and we’ll be the best friends ever.”

“You already have me,” teased his sister.

Jay could only sigh.

Phoebe was only brave during visits to the dentist because she never had a cavity.  And her kindness was not even worth mentioning: Jay had asked her for a sixth-grader’s magic wand countless times. She never gave it to him! And when you are that greedy – it doesn’t really matter how smart you are.

Jay had to use his own wand to do magic. He called it ‘spaghetti’ – it was long, smooth, and had no decorations except an inscription that said: “May turn into a pencil, a spoon, a comb, or a locker key.”

Jay spent a long time going through library scrolls and consulting the shadows of famous scientists to figure out how to make his wand more potent. Only when he had taken it apart and inserted magic crystals from his mother’s necklace, the “spaghetti” became powerful enough to create a talking fox.

For the spell Jay should have saved up more Will Power to control the flow of magic. But he could not delay any longer: tomorrow was the last day of the school year and the kids had to turn their magic wands in to the school.

It was nearly midnight. Jay should have been asleep hours ago, but he was sitting on the bed in his pajamas and watching the cuckoo clock. When the hour hand got close to twelve, he perched his magic-working goggles on his nose, picked up the “spaghetti”, and said the activating spell: “Light-Drawing class, Chapter fifteen, Problem six.”

The magic wand immediately turned into a fat pencil with a shining lead.

Moving away the bed rug, Jay sketched out a fox on the floor.

He was so nervous that luminous wings flared up behind his back from time to time and he had to use his Will Power to black them out.

What if it runs out before I complete the ritual? Jay thought, agitated.

He had already tried to create a talking fox without saving up enough Will Power, and he got a white woolen sock instead. It was completely clueless and hid under the bed right away. Whenever anyone tried to touch it, the sock puffed itself up and hissed spitefully.

BOOK TRAILER

Neoniks are an enchanted people who live on Cake Island.

When they turn seven, their parents cast the Winged Spell on them, which allows their children to learn to sprout wings on their backs whenever they need them.

At first, Neonik kids are not very good at magic and can only make very simple wings, but the adults can grow really magnificent wings that sparkle with neon lights.

Using magic, Neoniks can also perform different tricks. For example, they can change the weather above their homes or make their kitchen utensils entertain their little ones during dinner.

Neoniks also use magic as money.

If you go to Cake Island as a tourist, you can use magic to buy anything, starting with ice cream and going all the way up to an enchanted castle.

The magic comes in different-sized balls, and Neoniks carry them in little flask-shaped pendants around their necks.

How the magic works.

In order to conjure up whatever you want, you need to have the right amount of magic and you need to learn the right magic words. If you have enough Will Power the spell will be sure to work.

CHARACTERS

CONTRIBUTORS

Text by Elvira Baryakina

Art by Tamara Gerasun

Translation by Natasha Liberman

Audio book by Jason Damron

Website by Taras Karpyak

Book cover design by Irina Chan and Alex Mintz