Edison Beaker, Creature Seeker: The Night Door

illus. by Frank Cammuso. 160p. Viking. Oct. 2018. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780425291924.
Gr 3–7—Like many kids, Edison Beaker is afraid of the dark. After his father goes missing, Edison keeps the flashlight he gave him to chase away monsters. When Edison and his nosy little sister Tesla get stuck with their uncle Earl for the night, they assume they'll have a quiet night in. But Uncle Earl is actually a "creature seeker" who works to keep the monsters at bay from the human world. Edison and Tesla are unexpectedly dragged into the Underwhere (prompting many jokes about its homonym, of course), and with the help of Tesla's curious pet hamster and a cool monster girl named Knox, they must do their part to keep the darkness from invading. The adults show up when convenient, letting the kids tackle most of the problem-solving. Edison and Tesla have a charming sibling dynamic—though they annoy each other, they also have a bond based on love and trust. While this volume wraps up the immediate conflict, larger questions about the world and the characters are left unanswered, so readers will be invested in future installments. Cammuso's artwork is more cute than scary, but his panel work is creative and heightens the suspense.
VERDICT Hand this start to a winning series to those who enjoy Jeff Smith's "Bone" or are looking for a rip-roaring, funny adventure.

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