Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Diana Murray
Illustrator: Heather Ross
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
While flying on her broom through town, Grimelda sees a poster for the Spooktacular Pet Show. Sure that her cat is the most spooktacular pet around, she rushes home to find Wizzleworts sound asleep. Her friend wooshes by on her fire-breathing dragon and Grimelda wonders if Wizzleworts is up to the competition. She searches for another spooky pet and in a bog she finds a monster eel, but he is a bit too much for her to handle. She escapes the eel and finds that a spell will turn Wizzleworts into a truly spooktacular pet. They rush to the competition but her spell turns Wizzleworts into a cute pink kitten who is not at all spooky. Then, in swoops the monster eel still looking for his dinner, and Wizzleworts bares his claws and saves the day by chasing the eel away from Grimelda. He wins the prize after all!
This is a fun, quirky little story that is perfect for some Halloween fun! The illustrations are lighthearted and the quantity of monsters and animals make it a good read for children who love animals, especially magical ones. The rhyme is well done and quite fun. The loyalty of her cat is also a good lesson for children to learn about friendship, although her willingness to replace him is a questionable choice on Grimelda's part. Still, the cat demonstrates the importance of seeing the total value of a friend or pet. The sufficiently spooky but hungry eel shows that looking for quick fixes or easy ways to win isn't always the best idea and often does not turn out the way we hope. Overall this is a good choice for a cozy autumn cuddle with small readers who like to win and who love their pets.