Have you ever wanted a pet monster? If you’re like Artie, the answer is NO, because you think monsters don’t exist. If you’re like Willow, the answer is YES!
Artie is eleven years old and a science nut. He is slightly anxious, very cautious, and never lies or pushes the boundaries in any way. Book one in the How to Make a Pet Monster series saw Artie and his new stepsister, Willow, tackle everything from environmental adjustments to creating a pet monster.
Willow and Artie found an ancient spell book called The Bigge Boke of Fetching Monsters, which shows you how to make real monsters. They made Hodgepodge, who’s a bit furry and a bit stinky. He’s Artie’s best friend.
Now, Willow wants to make a best friend, but Artie’s worried. Now that he knows monsters are real, what if this new one is really dangerous? But in true Willow fashion, she’s determined to make it happen, no matter the obstacles. In the midst of Willow cheating the magic spell and rivalling with her new neighbour – and complete opposite – Arabella-Rose, will the new siblings’ monstrous secret be exposed?
Lili Wilkinson is the award-winning author of two picture books, That Christmas Feeling and Clancy the Quokka, and eleven YA novels including The Boundless Sublime. And Dustin Spence is an illustrator who loves creating playful, whimsical and colourful illustrations that explore the depths of his imagination. Together, he and Wilkinson create the magic of the How to Make a Pet Monster series.
I’ve been a huge fan of this series since Hodgepode, and Flummox did not disappoint! It was nice to see how Artie and Willow have found their feet a bit more in their blended family, with their distinct and contrasting personalities balancing each other out. The addition of Arabella-Rose really shakes things up and tests the dynamics between Artie and Willow.
I appreciated how Flummox offers small recounts of Hodgepodge. It allows fans of book one to remember its storyline, but it also means you can read Flummox without having read the first book. But those recounts and glimpses of Hodgepode will definitely have you eager to read it – the right amount of assistance for readers aged 7+.
Flummox is witty and a little silly, with some smelly monsters. Through its comedic storyline, it shows readers aged 7+ how clashing personalities can come together to find common ground – something that’s present in both books. This series needs to be on every kid’s bookshelf!