Loogie, a prankster genie, returns in this amusing second installment in Castle’s children’s book series.
Charlie, a modern grade schooler, and Loogie, a medieval prince cursed to be a magical genie until he does enough good deeds, have both come to terms with Loogie living in Charlie’s nose. But when Charlie gets a bad cold, a sneeze causes Charlie’s best friends, Katie and Tom, to find out his secret. Although this initially means great fun—Loogie turns Charlie into a dragon for Katie to ride—things start going wrong when Loogie catches Charlie’s cold. The sniffles go straight to Loogie’s ears, and he starts mishearing things: “blizzard” instead of “wizard” and, later, “magical creatures” instead of “magical ingredients.” The resulting creature invasion can’t be banished until Loogie gets well—unless the three kids call upon evil genie Tildor, who claims Tom as his new master. Tildor always has a trick up his sleeve, but his part in the story is left unresolved—presumably until the next installment. Castle’s second book is tighter than the first, as Charlie’s friends help keep his secret. Herholz and Castle’s illustrations are again engaging, reminiscent of Quentin Blake’s pictures for Roald Dahl’s classics. The gross-out humor remains constant, and readers who are entertained when snot flies will enjoy the difficulties caused by the cold: “Charlie held up his hands to block [Loogie’s] sneezes. Too late—he was already covered with spittle. ‘Gross! You sneezed all over me!’ ” The author continues to use an accessible vocabulary with a lightweight, fast-moving plot sure to engage reluctant readers, particularly boys who have outgrown Captain Underpants.
An entertainingly silly sequel that improves upon its predecessor.