Book: Super Slug of Doom
Author: Matty Long
Age Range: 5-8
Super Slug of Doom is the sequel to Matty Long's Super Happy Magic Forest (reviewed here). In this installment, an evil slug named Zorgoth is accidentally released and sets out to find and drink The Potion of Power. If Zorgoth is successful, the Super Happy Magic Forest will be destroyed. The same band of five heroes from the previous book sets out to follow Zorgoth's (slime) trail, and prevent disaster. Their travels lead them deep beneath the earth, where they encounter one-eyed miner trolls, hot lava-soaking dragons, and culinarily-obsessed ogres. But, in the end, the heroes manage to save the day.
What makes Super Slug of Doom fun are tongue-in-cheek moments. For example, at one point four of them are sitting around a campfire when they realize that Trevor, their mushroom companion, is missing. Then Blossom the unicorn says: "Come to think of it, I remember seeing Trevor in a cage back in Ogre Village...". And off they go to undertake a rescue. Observant young readers will have already noticed Trevor in the cage, next to a sign that says: "DINNER: Mushroom toast. DESSERT: Low-fat yogurt."
My other favorite scene comes late in the book. The text says:
"Eventually, the heroes
arrived at the foot of a great
mountain. Somehow, they knew
that the Potion of Power
must be close."
The illustration shows a huge sign in the shape of an arrow that says: "POTION OF POWER THIS WAY". Yes, somehow they knew.
So the heroes are a bit hapless. But this is going to work perfectly for young readers, who can feel superior. The illustrations in Super Slug of Doom tend towards complex page spreads filled with small pictures, and plenty of dialog bubbles to read. This is more a book to pore over than a book to read aloud. Certainly it is better one-on-one than in a group read-aloud setting, where the small images would be too hard to read. My daughter was especially pleased to notice an "Ogre Yoda", and also appreciated a cameo from two penguins seen in the first book.
Fans of Super Happy Magic Forest will probably be as thrilled as my daughter was to see that there is now a sequel. While I'm not sure the second book completely holds up to the fun and inventiveness of the first (because that would be difficult), Super Slug of Doom is still well worth a look, and a must-purchase for libraries serving the K-2 set. Recommended.
Publisher: Scholastic (@Scholastic)
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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