Saturday, June 11, 2011

Secrets of Dripping Fang Series Review

This week, I’d like to review a series rather than just a single book. My oldest son is in 3rd grade and reading Beginning Chapter/3-4 Readers. While he is not exactly a reluctant reader, he really needs the right type of story to get him interested so I was excited when we discovered the series Secrets of Dripping Fang by Dan Greenburg. Greenburg is best known for his other Beginning Chapter paperbacks The Zack Files.

Dripping Fang centers around a set of twins named Wally and Cheyenne Shluffmuffin. They become orphans when their parents die in odd accidents (dad drowned in a Porta Potti) and they are forced to live at the Jolly Days Orphanage. The problem is that the twins will never get adopted because Wally’s feet stink even after a bath and Cheyenne is allergic to everything. When they are taken home by two little, old ladies called The Onts, they discover that their new parents are really two giant ants breeding larvae so they can take over the world and enslave the human race. Wally and Cheyenne must escape their new home and brave the wild Dripping Fang forest to tell someone about the Ont’s horrible plan. On the way they meet glowing slugs, talking wolves, a professor and his spider wife, and even have a run-in with their dad who was turned into a zombie and then a vampire. On top of it all, no one believes their story of giant ants and they keep getting sent back to the Onts as runaways.

This series is perfect for the kid who is unimpressed with the typical Magic Tree House and Hank the Cowdog books. It does require a certain degree of sophistication as the books are rife with sarcastic humor. The children at Jolly Days Orphanage are described as wretches and they are treated horribly by the owner, Hortense Jolly. Some readers might not be ready for the scary elements like zombies and spiders, but this series fills the niche of horror/humor for a young audience. It just might be the series that hooks the reader that turns down everything else because it looks “too boring.”