Tuesday, October 6

The Not-So-Itty-Bitty Spiders

The Not-So-Itty-Bitty Spiders
(Olive & Beatrix #1)
Written and illustrated by Amy Marie Stadelmann

My rating: ★★★½

ISBN: 978-0545814812
Publisher: Scholastic
Date of publication: August 25, 2015
Age: Grades 1 - 3
Genre: Fantasy

Themes: witchcraft, science, trickery/practical jokes, fears, sisters

Twin sisters Olive and Beatrix don't often get along. Olive is "ordinary" and loves science. But Beatrix is a witch! She has a brain full of tricks, and she uses her magic powers to play pranks on Olive and her best friend, Eddie. When it gets to be too much, Olive and Eddie decide to play a prank on Bea. They rig up a bucket of spiders over her bedroom door. But when the spiders crawl into one of Bea's magic potions...WHAM! Giant spiders are on the loose! These sisters will have to work together to shrink the not-so itty-bitty spiders down to size!

Here is another beginning chapter book (Scholastic calls them "Branches") that's great for those early readers who are ready for the next step. Was it all that fantastic and amazing? Well, no, but there is quite a bit to appreciate. In the story, I appreciated that both girls had to face their fears and helped each other through that. It was action-packed and fast-paced, too, which will keep reader's attention. The characters? Most of them were pretty bland since there wasn't much character development (Beatrix comes off pretty obnoxious, actually), but the talking pet pig—so hilarious. He provides just the right amount of comic relief. The illustrations are pretty great, too, with a darker-themed color scheme that contributes to the spooky-but-fun story.

Overall, I'd recommend it here and there. It definitely can appeal to boys and girls alike and the simple speech bubbles in between the story's text will make it more fun for reluctant readers. There's just not a lot to really sink your teeth into.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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