Gr 2-5-"Los Tres" (The Three), Leidi, Juliana, and Sancho, are accomplished bug hunters. When hired by the mysterious Dr. Vitar Ostengruff to capture alacranes (scorpions), they find their hunting skills sorely lacking so sorely, in fact, that they must join forces with their worst enemy, the oafish Elias Pistrecalo, to capture the 74 arachnids that the doctor has requested. It seems that he is concocting a cure for bampacrisis, a disease in which the infected person, who can be cured only by an antidote that contains scorpion venom, becomes smaller and smaller until bamp! he or she disappears. This imaginative little book, snappily written in a jazzy, colloquial Spanish, is also engagingly plotted. Near escapes, exotic adventures, and interesting characters make this an exciting middle-grade read. Barajas's pen-and-ink cartoon drawings, both full-page and inset, add immeasurably to the book's appeal for those who like fantasy similar to that found in Jon Scieszka's "Time Warp Trio" books (Viking, various dates) slightly silly, filled with clever wordplay, and hard to put down. An excellent addition to school and public libraries and a sound purchase for bookstores serving Spanish-speaking populations. Ann Welton, Grant Center for the Expressive Arts, Tacoma, WA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.