Title: Olive and Beatrix: The Not-So-Itty-Bitty Spiders
Author and Illustrator: Amy Marie Stadelmann
Publisher: Branches, Scholastic Inc.
Summary: Olive and Beatrix are twin sisters. Olive is a regular kid, but her twin sister Beatrix is a witch. Olive and her best friend, Eddie, love science. But Beatrix loves to play tricks on them while they conduct experiments. Then one day, Olive decides it’s time to play a trick on Beatrix. So they collect itty-bitty spiders and put them in a bucket to fall on Beatrix when she opened her door. It worked! Beatrix screamed and ran away, unfortunately the spiders landed in her growth potion and became giant spiders which caused all kinds of trouble in their neighborhood. They needed to work together in order to capture the spiders and use her shrinking potion on them. It took some time, but they finally got all the spiders under control.
Literary Merit: Short easy chapters. Written in a lot of dialogue similar to a graphic novel.
Kid Appeal: Twins and Witchcraft play an important role in getting kids’ attention. Playing tricks and casting spells, will have kids turning pages.
Disclaimer: This book was nominated for the 2015 CYBILS Award in the Early Chapter Book category. This review is shared as part of the Round One Judging. It is solely my own opinion and not influenced by any other parties.