Lake monster lonely? Leprechaun sniffly? Only Dr. Woo, Veterinarian for Imaginary Creatures, can help.
Ten-year-old Pearl Petal, one of the few kids remaining in Buttonville after the button factory’s closure, has a reputation as a troublemaker. She’s just curious, creative...and bored, so she’s glad to have a new friend in Ben Silverstein and an apprenticeship at Dr. Woo’s clinic, which everyone in town thinks is a worm hospital. After successfully ditching nosy Mrs. Mulberry, who wants her awful daughter Victoria to apprentice too (just so they can nose around inside), Pearl and Ben start their first day of apprenticing by clipping the toenails of a Sasquatch. Things get more complicated fast. Pearl’s curiosity gets the better of her, and Ben ends up the prisoner of a gigantic (and thankfully gentle) lake monster. Can Pearl save him without alerting Dr. Woo and her snooty assistant, the odd Mr. Tabby? Selfors’ second is Pearl’s tale (the first was Ben’s), and this adds depth to both the characters and setting of this fun and slightly suspenseful series that has more hijinks than horror. Santat’s occasional black-and-white illustrations are an added bonus, as are the creature info with writing and art prompts, the science lesson on buoyancy and the mirror-making instructions in the backmatter. Readers could start here, but they should start with the first to get the whole story.
Nothing imaginary about the fun (and sneaky learning). (Fantasy. 7-11)