Twins Beatrix and Olive and friend Eddie have an adventure with spiders in this early chapter book.
Beatrix, born at the stroke of midnight on a full moon, is a witch, while Olive, born 2 minutes later, is not. Olive and Eddie love science. (This is downplayed: the one bit of text that alludes to science, when Olive tells Beatrix that spiders are not insects because they have eight legs, not six, is cut short by Beatrix, who tells Olive to “stop talking like a teacher”—an unfortunate message.) Beatrix loves to play magical jokes on Eddie and Olive, and they, in turn, hatch a plot to retaliate by dumping spiders on her, since Beatrix is afraid of spiders. Their plan backfires when the spiders get into Beatrix’s growing potion and become giant spiders, forcing them to work together to remedy the situation. Although the story moves along, and the ample illustrations (graphic novel–like with plenty of dialogue bubbles) are lively enough, the story never really sparkles. More actual science information would have been welcome, and a stab at diversity—Eddie is shown as grayish (regrettably the same color as Beatrix’s pet talking pig), compared to Olive’s and Beatrix’s paper-white skin tone—doesn’t really make an impression.
This pleasant tale doesn’t stand out. (activities) (Fantasy. 5-7)