The Imaginary Veterinary Book 1
by Suzanne Selfors
First sentence: “The weird shadow swept across the sky.”
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Ben Silverstein is being sent to live with his grandpa for the summer. As an LA kid — the full nine yards: salons, designer jeans, pools in your backyard — the idea of spending the summer with his grandpa (whom he hasn’t seen in 6 years) in the small, run-down town of Buttonville sounds like torture.
Then, things start to happen.
He meets Pearl Petal.
He thinks he sees a dragon.
They discover that Dr. Woo’s “worm” hospital is actually a hospital for creatures from the Imaginary World.
They let loose a sasquatch (with foot fungus).
And they are tasked with catching him.
Suddenly, what was a boring summer has taken a turn for the exciting.
Selfors has written a solid early-middle grade fantasy. It’s got adventure and friendship, and enough fantastic and silly situations to be entertaining for any reader. But the narrative is simple enough that it makes a great in-between book for early or struggling readers. And the illustrations by Dan Santat added immensely to Selfor’s storytelling, not to mention the “enrichment” activities in the back.
I’m not going to say that middle grade fantasy really needs another series, but this one is a great addition.