The Lonely Lake Monster

Bk. 2. illus. by Dan Santat. 205p. (The Imaginary Veterinary Series). Little, Brown. 2013. Tr $16. ISBN 9780316225670.
Gr 3–5—Ten-year-old Pearl Petal doesn't try to get into trouble; it just sort of…happens. In The Sasquatch Escape (Little, Brown, 2013), Dr. Emerald Woo moved into an abandoned Buttonville factory and turned it into a hospital for imaginary creatures. Pearl and Ben, a 10-year-old newcomer to town, helped corral a wayward sasquatch, and, for their efforts, the veterinarian made them apprentices. Now, on their first official day on the job, they are instructed to clip the sasquatch's toenails. But Pearl convinces Ben that they should check out the lake monster on the hospital grounds instead. What follows is a disastrous cascade of things gone wrong and Pearl's sincere-yet misguided-attempts to set them right. The story is imaginative, fast paced, and absorbing. Pages fly as readers race to find out how Pearl will get out of the tangle of mistakes she's made. And even though she's flawed, she tries hard to be a good kid, an endearing quality. Questions hang in the air at the book's conclusion, in preparation for a sequel. A section on writing, art, and science activities that may be used for educational or recreational purposes is appended, and Santat's comical illustrations appear throughout. A fun ride.—Amy Holland, Irondequoit Public Library, NY
Ten-year-olds Pearl and Ben start their apprenticeships at Dr. Woo's hospital for imaginary creatures and are told to stay inside. But when Pearl sees a huge lake monster outside, she and Ben simply must investigate. This entertaining tale, illustrated with verve by Santat, combines fantastical creatures, a wacky veterinarian, humor, tension, and implausible fun. End matter includes activities and information about the creatures.

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