Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Spelling Trouble (2013) Frank Cammuso

I often take home kids' graphic novels from the library because (1) I like to know what to recommend to patrons and (2) I just like them. The Misadventures of Salem Hyde was a nice surprise, a book that I hope turns into a good ongoing series of graphic novels for kids. 

Salem is a young witch who doesn't quite have a firm handle in casting spells, mostly due to her not being able to spell correctly. You can see the double meaning of "spell" and soon realize that wordplay is central to enjoying the book. Salem's animal companion Percival J. Whamsford III (or Whammy) is hired to help Salem out, but Whammy has used five of his nine lives and gets a little nervous when Salem starts casting spells, especially while she's losing her cool. 

The Misadventures of Salem Hyde isn't terribly original, but it is charming and Cammuso knows how to tell and compelling, fun story without letting it draw on for too long. The art style is similar to that of Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes fame. While the stories don't have the depth of Watterson, they're still fun. Highly recommended, especially for reluctant readers.  


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