BIG BIRTHDAY BASH by Frank Cammuso


From the "Misadventures of Salem Hyde" series, volume 2
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10
Email this review


With giant spectacles and even more spunk, budding witch Salem Hyde is back, determined to give her friend the best birthday ever.

Tempestuous Salem is a flurry of a girl, always acting first and thinking second. Luckily, her feline companion, Whammy, is there to help keep her grounded and help her use—or, more often, help her undo her use of—her nascent magical powers. When Salem is invited to her friend Edgar’s big birthday bash, she’s beyond excited. However, right from the start, her adversary, the know-it-all Shelly, is determined to upstage her at every turn. Salem decides she’ll give Edgar the best and biggest present ever—with disastrous, magical results. Salem and Whammy are perfect foils, with her whirlwind liveliness balanced by his (semi) calm wisdom. Cammuso keeps the jokes flowing throughout the volume and adroitly weaves them in and out of each narrative section, coming full circle by the end. Line-based art reminiscent of Calvin and Hobbes sets an immediate mood, and the characters’ dramatic facial expressions make a winning complement to the steady stream of chuckle-worthy antics. This volume makes a fine jumping-in point for the series, but readers should also make sure to check out the excellent series opener, Spelling Trouble (2013).

With lots of laughs and lots of heart, this sophomore offering doesn’t disappoint. (Graphic fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 20th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4197-1025-4
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2014


ChildrenTHE NIGHT DOOR by Frank Cammuso
by Frank Cammuso
ChildrenSPELLING TROUBLE by Frank Cammuso
by Frank Cammuso
ChildrenOTTO'S BACKWARDS DAY by Frank Cammuso
by Frank Cammuso


ChildrenGRYPHONS AREN'T SO GREAT by James Sturm
by James Sturm
ChildrenOLGA by Elise Gravel
by Elise Gravel
ChildrenJELLABY by Kean Soo
by Kean Soo