Boo Stew

Peachtree. Sept. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781682632215.
K-Gr 2–Curly Locks loves to cook, but none of the townsfolk like her dishes of batwing brownies or cat hair cupcakes. Though she’s a little dejected, she continues to concoct her dishes. Meanwhile, the mayor is trying to enjoy his breakfast when a Scare, an inky creature from Toadsuck Swamp, appears and frightens him away from his home. The mayor seeks help from the Blacksmith, who tries to frighten away the Scare. But a bigger Scare comes along and terrifies the Blacksmith. Then, the chicken rancher tries to spook the Scares away, only to encounter an enormous third creature. Maybe Curly Locks’s dishes are just what the mayor needs to get rid of the creatures. This is a fun story about pursuing one’s passions even when other people might not understand. Luckily, Curly Locks has the support of her mother, and her love of cooking saves the day. The story features a diverse cast, and character have a range of skin tones and body types. The characters’ exaggerated body proportions add the right amount of humor, while the inky and spooky Scares are the stuff of nightmares. These character styles complement each other well and make for an enjoyable read.
VERDICT A girl’s unique cooking style saves the day in this fun Halloween read sure to entertain in any season.

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