The Corman Towers apartment building has a creepy outside; wait till Flo sees the inside!
Fourth-grader-to-be Florence (but don’t call her that) has moved around each year since her father died; her mom has to go where the work is. This year’s building, Corman Towers, is in the city and doesn’t look promising. The apartment has cracked windows and stains, and there’s a kid in his underwear running through the hallway. Weird. Ferdinand—“Furry”—is no less weird when Flo actually meets him, but at least he puts some shorts on. Then her groceries are attacked and her Popsicles stolen. Flo thinks some dog may have done it, but no pets are allowed. Flo goes in search of Furry, who’s doing laundry, and he shows her a crack in the basement floor that goes blue. Weird. Late that night, she catches Furry (in his underwear again) running with her Popsicles…and when she chases him to the roof, he’s turned into a werewolf! Before that can settle, they’re attacked by a giant spider. Can the new friends escape a rampaging momma spider? Troupe’s series kickoff is a slightly spooky and little-bit-goofy tale for those just starting chapter books. Gilpin’s occasional black-and-white, pen-and-ink cartoon illustrations are a nice match. Glossary, questions and prompts at the close provide some educational backbone to the entertainment.
Chapter-book readers should latch onto it. (Fantasy. 6-8)