Wednesday, April 17, 2013

S.W.I.T.C.H.: Spider Stampede by Ali Sparkes, illustrated by Ross Collins

Josh and Danny, and their dog Piddle, generally get along pretty well. Except that Josh loves anything creepy-crawly and his twin, Danny, most definitely does NOT. Then one day Piddle gets lost in the mysterious shed belonging to their creepy, crotchety next-door neighbor Miss Potts and something strange and exciting and horrible happens.

They turn into spiders! Unfortunately, the first person who sees them is their big sister Jenny - and she is not a fan of spiders! After a series of hair-raising adventures and with the help of some friendly rats they manage to get back to Petty Potts. She's not all bad, but she's definitely a mad scientist! She turns the boys back and they escape, but are their adventures over?

Additional back matter includes a final note from Petty Potts with more hints on her secret S.W.I.T.C.H formula and the mysteries she hints at, a glossary, bibliography, list of the current titles in this series, and biographies of the author and illustrator.

Verdict: I think kids will really like the combination of facts and fiction in this story. It's just gross enough with lots of crazy adventures and only a little over 100 pages long. It could have been funnier and the writing falls a bit flat in places, but quite good overall. Add this if you need more beginning chapter books in your library. I will probably wait until next November when I add new series to the collection, since this is available only in paperback or expensive library bound editions. There are currently six books available in the series.

ISBN: 9780761391999; Published May 2013 by Darby Creek/Lerner; Egalley provided by publisher through Netgalley; Added to library's series wishlist

No comments: