Grimelda, of the still-untidy room (Grimelda the Very Messy Witch, 2016), is back, this time trying to win the prize at the pet show with her cat, Wizzlewarts.
But is he spooktacular enough to win? Grimelda has her doubts, especially after Hildegard rides by on Blaze, her fire-breathing dragon. A spell might do the trick, but as before, her spell book is lost in the mess. What to do? Well, find a better pet, of course. But those turn out to be in short supply at the general store, and the monster eel she finds in the swamp may be a bit too spooktacular. But back at home, Wizzlewarts can’t be counted out yet. “He’d found her spell book! And what’s more, / he’d flipped to page three hundred four— / The Perfect Spell to Make a Cat / Spooktacular in Seconds Flat!” At the pet show, the spell, smudged with eye-scream fudge, doesn’t turn out quite as Grimelda had intended, but she and Wizzlewarts pull together for the ultimate win…and a new pet of a different sort. Ross’ digital illustrations are filled with fascinating details that will have readers poring over the pages, though diversity is in short supply (Grimelda and Hildegard both appear to be white). Murray never addresses Grimelda’s original lack of faith in Wizzlewarts, who surely must feel inadequate and unloved.
Readers may stage their own pet shows, but here’s hoping they are more affirmative of their own pets than Grimelda is. (Picture book. 4-8)