Fred and Anthony, both 10, would prefer to spend their days watching cheesy monster movies while scarfing Pez and Chex Mix. Unfortunately, little matters like school projects interfere. The friends figure they can pay someone to do their homework, if they can just raise the cash. In Escape , the boys go into business "helping old people with stuff." Unfortunately, their first customer is weird dentist Dr. Nietsneknarf, who needs a couple of boy-brains to animate his world-destroying monster. In the second book, Fred and Anthony set up as professional ghost-busters, only to run into an obsessively messy slime creature and his Netherworld neighbor, a neat-freak zombie with ambitions to supersanitize the world-starting with our heroes. The heavily illustrated design features exaggerated black-and-white cartoon illustrations, often in comic-book-style panels, dialogue balloons, and wildly varying text fonts. Cameo appearances by famous fiends from Dracula to the Bride of Frankenstein are scattered through the stories. There is playground-level body humor of the "doggie doo" and "barf breath" variety, as well as lots of tongue-in-cheek horror references. More silly than scary, these books are an additional choice for transition readers, especially boys, who are just beyond Dav Pilkey's "Captain Underpants" series (Scholastic).
Elaine E. KnightCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.