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Thursday, June 2
Written by Veronica Cossanteli, illustrations by Roman Muradov
My rating: ★★½
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Date of publication: February 9, 2016
Age: Grades 4 - 7
Genre: Fantasy, Realistic Fiction
Themes: extinct animals, mythological creatures, friendship, taxidermy, jobs
George is looking for a job in order to raise money for a new bike, so when he sees a help wanted ad for Wormestall Farm, he goes for it. Before long, he's embroiled in a madcap adventure involving creatures both (supposedly) extinct and (previously thought to be) mythological, a new friend (a girl!), and a maniacal taxidermist who wants the animals of Wormestall Farm in her own private collection...stuffed, of course.
This was one of those I spot on the library shelf and was curious. But...I wanted it to be so much more fun than it was. In the end, it was pretty flat and cliché. Or perhaps I should say Flat and Cliché (yes, be prepared for the Random Capitalization writing style). There's some pretty snarky and dark humor with some things gross and other things violent. Perhaps I was hoping for something like Fablehaven, but got a twisted 101 Dalmatians instead. There's not much to be said of the characters--they are quirky, fun, and pretty much what you'd expect (e.g. the villain is quite villainous, with no redeeming qualities). The extra half star, though, for an exciting ending and for Lo (best character, easily).
Oh yeah, and the illustrations...well, they're there. Not much to celebrate or complain about. Anyways, I'm not in a rush to recommend it, but if this sounds like your cup of tea, then go for it.
Find it at your library or on Amazon