Eeeeeeeeeek! Spiders! And Olive and Beatrix.
Little Lion has been delving into early chapter books with illustrations. A while back, I posted on Instagram a picture of her reading Olive and Beatrix: The Not-So-Itty-Bitty Spiders (published August 2015) while lying upside down. (See squares below at footer.) She has been devouring all of these early chapter books with a passion similar to her sister. And, because it's her nighttime reading book for school, she also insists on reading it aloud, even if the room is empty. I'm listening, I swear, but I'm also either prepping dinner or getting things ready for the next day. It isn't because there are spiders involved. Really. Sometimes I'm side by side reading with her.
I first picked up the book because I like the color scheme--lots of purple and black in a matte, muted tone, that lends itself to a goth-like feel. The book features a set of twins, Olive, a scientist, and Beatrix, a witch due to being born at midnight on the night of a full moon. The book is full of cute, intriguing details like that one. What I enjoyed about this book is that the story line is simple yet engaging for young readers. And, since my girls are all about magic right now, this first book about Olive and Beatrix is delightful in its mix of magical fantasy with sibling rivalry reality.
Beatrix is always playing tricks on Olive. Together with her best friend, Olive is determined to turn the tables and play a trick on Beatrix. And it works...only it works a little too well, resulting in (GASP!) giant spiders wandering their neighborhood! Amy Marie Stadelmann includes the very realistic detail of each spider having eight eyes--its eerie for me to look at these pics.
Overall, a lovely chapter book that will delight early readers. Scholastic has a series of these books labeled 'Branches', which seem to fit a perfect need in our house. as Little Lion has been wanting to be challenged a bit with her reading and is ready for a more involved story line. The length is great and the illustrations on each page (with the aforementioned wonderful color scheme) make this a fantastic read for little readers branching out on their own. We'll definitely be checking out the next one in the series, Olive and Beatrix: The Super-Smelly Moldy Blob.
Rating: On the lowest shelf for chapter book readers. Though emerging readers may still enjoy this by looking through the pictures and inferring what is going on, and then having someone read it with them.
Ages: 4 and up. If reading on your own, it's categorized at Level M or second grade. (Though I'm reluctant to write 'grade levels' here.
Bonus: Little Lion came home with her own book report/book review of Olive and Beatrix! See her view below. I love that she incorporated the black/purple/green color scheme in her own illustration too.