The plot thickens with complications, plus various sorts of goo and slime, in the second episode of this boys-as-bugs series.
When their mother’s prized topiary is vandalized, 8-year-old twins Danny and Josh accept the offer of Petty Potts, the old-but-not-as-dotty-as-she-seems scientist next door, to transform them temporarily into houseflies in order to track down the perpetrator. Marveling at their suddenly different world (“I can see my own butt!” exclaims Danny. “Without turning my head around!”), the lads buzz off to the house of the suspected classmate culprit. There they have close and gross encounters with both a parental nose and a hungry spider—plus a reunion with friendly rats Scratch and Sniff, introduced in the first episode (Spider Stampede, 2013). In the end, just deserts are served out all around, and hints of a larger scheme involving Potts and her chemical cocktails point to sequels. Along with spritzing occasional drops of natural history into the story itself—“To a fly, pee is soup”—Sparkes appends a glossary of insect parts and other vocabulary words. For value added, all series episodes also feature a set list of print and Web resources for larval insectophiles. Sequels, publishing simultaneously, are Grasshopper Glitch, Ant Attack, Crane Fly Crash and Beetle Blast.
Readers will suck up this quick and gooey adventure like the “fly-spit smoothie” that it is. (line drawings) (Fantasy. 7-9)