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DILLWEED'S REVENGE by Florence Parry Heide Kirkus Star


A Deadly Dose of Magic

by Florence Parry Heide with Roxanne Heide Pierce & David Fisher Parry & Jeanne McReynolds Parry & illustrated by Carson Ellis

Age Range: 9 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-15-206394-8
Publisher: Harcourt

Well-deserved woe unto adults who do Dillweed wrong! His parents are off voyaging, and he’s poetically jealous: “Dillweed liked to go places. He liked to have adventures. He liked to have a good time. His parents went places. His parents had adventures. His parents had a good time. The parents. Not Dillweed.” Using ink and gouache, Ellis paints the minimalist gothic mansion in low-intensity rust, brown and gray; adorable pet reptile Skorped is a refreshing pale blue. Garishly distorted bodies and faces reveal the odiousness in nasty servants Umblud and Perfidia and their guests. Heide and her family’s text is elegantly understated: “Dillweed did something”--the illustrations show that Dillweed conjures gray ghouls; “Umblud made a foolish mistake”--Umblud drinks lethal poison that Perfidia meant for Skorped; “Perfidia made a foolish mistake”--Perfidia gets crushed under a wardrobe by a gray ghoul. Even subtler is Dillweed’s revenge against Skorped’s next attackers. Dillweed and Skorped “wished the parents would go away," and lickety-split, a black wreath adorns the manor’s door while boy and pet depart for their long-denied adventures. Good, macabre fun. (Picture book. 9 & up)