Mellybean and the Wicked Wizard

Penguin/Razorbill. (Mellybean: Bk. 2). Jun. 2021. 208p. Tr $20.99. ISBN 9780593202814; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9780593202838.
Gr 2-6–In this follow-up to Mellybean and the Giant Monster, Mellybean the dog and her three cat friends travel through a hole in the backyard to the Old-Timey Kingdom. Once there, they find that a magical spell has put King Narra and the rest of the kingdom to sleep. They discover that Wilma the Wizard has been stealing the powers from all of the Ancient Creatures in the kingdom so she can rule the world. Mellybean and her friends must find Wilma and save the kingdom. White brings whimsical illustrations to life using strong lines and rich colors. This fun and fast-paced story has a strong balance of text and illustrations and is broken into short chapters that will keep readers engaged and avoid overwhelming them. White blends a playful story about a magical kingdom with themes of kindness and friendship. Younger readers will be drawn to lively illustrations, while older ones will enjoy the humor and clever antics of the characters.
VERDICT A great choice for reluctant readers. Recommended for kids who enjoy “Narwhal and Jelly” or “Phoebe and Her Unicorn.”

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