Reading Level: Middle Grade
Length: 224 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: April 17, 1995
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I have had this book on my to read shelf for a long time. I originally picked it up because it’s by the author of the Neverending Story (which I adore). It ended up being an okay read, but was slow at parts and a bit awkward to read. I think younger readers will enjoy this story more.
The evil sorcerer Beezlebub Preposteror and his equally evil aunt are both behind on their required annual quota of evil deeds. Things start looking better for them when they find a recipe for a potion that can grant wishes in reverse. This would be great because not only can they complete their evil deeds they can also fool the animal spies that live with them. Except they don’t know that the cat and raven that live with them have a sneaky plan of their own to stop them.
There are some wonderful illustrations throughout this book and I enjoyed those. I found the story to be a bit silly and over the top; it’s something I think younger readers will enjoy more than adults. I personally wasn’t a huge fan though…it was okay but not great.
There is a lot in here about friendship and good triumphing over evil. There is also a lot of clever wordplay and some cute poems throughout.
The whole story is very predictable and the characters very stereotypical. It’s a story I think younger readers will enjoy but adults will find a bit boring to get through. I honestly struggled a bit just because I had trouble engaging with the characters and story.
Overall an okay read about good triumphing over evil. The animal characters are cute and funny, if a bit over the top. There is some clever word play in here as well. I struggled a bit with the pacing (some parts were kind of boring) and with the way the writing flowed (it was a bit awkward at times). I would definitely recommend The Neverending Story over this book.