As our heroes choose fun over duty, the Lunabelle kicks into high gear and the scariest night of their lives ensues. DeGuise, kicking off his promising Ghoul School series, keeps the story on the fun side of scary as the Lunabelle—captured in fantastic, story-enhancing illustrations from Javier Espila—begins to grow before their very eyes, soon filling the house, chasing them, in search of the lost seeds Josh's mom and dad have collected to start new plants. The adventure is fast-paced and witty, and kids will see themselves in Josh and his friends, kids who are in that in-between time of still being young enough to play together, but edging into being old enough to imagine how wonderful a kiss from that special person might be.
Josh's fears are two-fold, stopping the angry Lunabelle and figuring out how he's going to explain all this to his parents, who will be home very, very soon. Nothing in DeGuise’s storytelling is superfluous, as the tension builds to a winning resolution. For all Lunabelle’s bite, Venus Child Trap is a charmer, rich in humor, thoughtful in its relationships between family and friends, and touching in its handling of bravery and loyalty, consequences and actions. This book is a delight.
Takeaway: Spooky, hilarious story of kids home alone and a plant run amok.
Comparable Titles: Josh Berk & Saundra Mitchell’s Camp Murderface, Joe McGee’s The Haunted Mustache.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A