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Secrets of Dripping Fang, Book One: The Onts by HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURTName: Secrets of Dripping Fang, Book One: The Onts
Company: HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT
Age: 8-12
Price: $11.95
Category: Books

What Is It?
Orphans, giant ants, stinky feet and snot abound in this first of a series of “Dripping Fang” books by Dan Greenburg, illustrated by Scott M. Fischer. Book One is a hardcover with a full-color illustration on the cover, pen-and-ink illustrations within. Twin orphans Wally and Cheynne Shlufmuffin think they’ve scored a real family when they’re adopted by a pair of large, strange looking sisters who smell faintly of copper. But after their new “Onts” bring them home to a spooky house in the middle of a spookier forest, the siblings’ time at Jolly Days Orphanage begins to seem like heaven! When Wally finds a ghastly secret in the basement, the orphans have to make a run for it … through a forest filled with creepy things that like to munch on orphans’ feet. Will they find a real home after all, or meet a grisly end in Dripping Fang Forest?

What We Thought
Greenberg’s mixture of gross humor, creepy giant bugs and orphans makes this a fun book for kids to read with or without their parents. Wally and Cheyenne each have strong personalities and peculiar afflictions (see stinky feet and snot) that kids can easily latch on to and have fun with. Fischer’s illustrations add to the gleeful ickiness. It’s a real page-turner and kids will want to know what happens to the orphans in Part II.

Why They’ll Want It
Kids will like reading about someone else’s stinky feet and snotty nose. They’ll enjoy the scary dilemmas in which the orphans find themselves, and will have fun trying to guess how they’re going to get out of each of their scrapes. “Secret of Dripping Fang” is the kind of book that kids’ll want their folks to read again and again, just so they can relive the grossest parts.
-- Alison Marek, 12/2/05


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