Ben Silverstein’s summer with Grandpa is about to go wild.
When his parents need to “work out some troubles,” 10-year-old Ben gets shipped off to tiny Buttonville, where everything seems to be closed or out of business since the button factory was shuttered years ago. Ben’s used to spending summers in the pool in his Los Angeles backyard with his friends, and Buttonville looks positively coma-inducing. When Grandpa’s mouser Barnaby deposits what has to be a baby dragon on Ben’s bed, Ben and his new friend Pearl (whom the whole town calls “troublemaker” on account of a few innocent incidents) decide to visit the new “worm doctor” who has moved into the abandoned button factory. (Ben had heard her strange assistant Mr. Tabby buying ingredients for “dragon’s milk” at the grocery....) When their visit unleashes a hairy, pudding-loving imaginary beast on the town of Buttonville, Ben and Pearl volunteer to catch him. Selfors kicks off her Imaginary Veterinary series with a solid, entertaining opener. Ben and Pearl are Everykids that readers will relate to, and the adults of Buttonville are often delightfully weird and clueless. Twenty-five pages of backmatter include information on wyverns and sasquatch as well as the science of reptiles and a pudding recipe.
More hijinks-filled adventure than mystery, this is sure to win an audience. (Adventure. 8-12)