The second in the series of books about lovable Sparky the puppy sees him and his human ‘familiar’ Carl, still trying to learn magic. In this book they are trying to learn to communicate with each other, but whilst they fail to speak to each other magically, the bond between Carl and Sparky is warm and real. However, when an inspection is due at Mrs Mothwick’s Magic Academy, the pressure to achieve is on, when Carl realises that the school could face closure if the inspectors discover a non-magical animal. Can Carl and Sparky save the day? The friendships and rivalries of Carl and his peers are well portrayed and the affectionate relationship between Carl and Sparky is warm and comforting. There is an element of threat in the story, when the nasty Mrs Cackleback makes an appearance but she is quickly dealt with so younger readers should not feel uncomfortable for too long. An enjoyable read, layout making it accessible to younger independent readers with plenty of black and white illustrations throughout to add interest.