Friday, February 17, 2017

Ella and Owen: The Cave of Aaaaah! Doom! by Jaden Kent, illustrated by Iryna Bodnaruk

Owen is a complete bookworm (dragon-worm that is) and is perfectly content to sit at home in the stone house, reading while he waits for his fiery cold to go away. However, his twin sister Ella is much more adventurous. She thinks a cold that makes you sneeze fire is not normal and they should find a wizard to cure it. Owen isn't so sure - evil wizards (and vegetables) are top on his list of things he is scared of. Not to mention his worst fear; evil wizards made of vegetables!

However, Ella is persuasive and soon the two are off on an adventure, bickering and bantering along the way. They make it to the Cave of AAAAAH! Doom! but will they ever make it out again?

This silly and icky beginning chapter book is generously illustrated with black and white drawings. I could only get a sense of them from the sketches in the ARC, but going by the cover they look delightfully goofy. Gross details like a spider-snail pet, eating slugs, and stinky fish ice cream are mixed with wacky humor, including an evil vegetable wizard.

Verdict: I'm always looking for new beginning chapter series and I think this one, a fun mix of gross and silly, will be a welcome addition to our collection. Fans of Branches' Notebook of Doom are sure to approve. Little Bee's forays into beginning chapter books are looking good! Recommended.

ISBN: 9781499803686; Published March 2017 by Little Bee/Bonnier; ARC provided by publisher at BEA; Purchased for the library

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