Friday, June 9, 2017

Zoey and Sassafras: Monsters and Mold by Asia Citro, illustrations by Marion Lindsay

I accidentally picked up the second title in this series instead of the first, but I quickly picked up on the plot. It's similar to Kallie George's Magical Animal Adoption Agency or Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures but at a beginning chapter level and with a science-y twist! I have a lot of Citro's nonfiction science books and was skeptical that she could turn her hand to beginning chapters, a totally different animal, but I was quickly won over!

In this second adventure, Zoey is waiting eagerly for the doorbell to ring and bring another magical creature to her (and her mom) for help. Having assisted a baby dragon in the first story, she is hopeful that something equally cute will show up. Meanwhile, she fiddles around with her moldy bread experiments and plays with her cat Sassafras. But when the doorbell does ring, she gets a big surprise! It's a monster! A monster with a problem - moldy fur! Zoey tries one thing after another but nothing seems to work and Gorp is scared of Sassafras and absolutely sure he'll never get to go to the monster ball. Will Zoey be able to come up with a scientific solution in time?

Black and white illustrations show Zoey with big, round eyes, wild curls, and dark skin. Gorp is a fluffy but miserable monster with cat-like stripes and woeful big eyes. Zoey's house, barn, and science experiments are all shown in clear, simple pictures that move the text along briskly. There is a glossary included, but most of the science is seamlessly woven into the text, including experiments and scientific thinking. Zoey's experiments are written up in a wobbly, handwritten font and the text is about intermediate for a chapter book - just right for a Magic Tree House reader.

Verdict: Why, oh WHY did I not discover these last December when I order all my new beginning chapter series for the next year?? Now I have to wait until December 2017! I love that Zoey is both a girl and diverse, doing science! The friendly, cozy nature of the story, the seamless integration of the science into the story, the hint of magic - it's all just perfect. I can't wait to add these to my collection! Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9781943147137; Published 2017 by Innovation Press; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

1 comment:

Jen Robinson said...

Thanks! I added this one to my daughter's wish list. Seems like it would be right up her alley.