Gargantis by Thomas Taylor, illustrated by Tom Booth

Gargantis by Thomas Taylor, illustrated by Tom Booth. Walker Books, 9781536208597, 2020

Format: Hardcover, 334 pages

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Fantasy/Mystery Fiction

What did you like about the book? The second installment in the Eerie-on-Sea adventures, this book is sure to please readers who enjoyed Malamander.  Herbert Lemon is back with Violet, more quirky characters, and a new adventure.  When an ominous hooded stranger leaves an unusual shell for Herbert containing an unexpected and lively surprise, matters go from bad to worse.  An ancient glowing fish-shaped bottle is discovered and arguments begin to erupt as to who its rightful owner should be.  It falls to Herbert, in his job as Lost and Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, to figure out its history and find its proper owner.  Humorous situations and eccentric townsfolk still abound adding character to this tale that will keep readers turning pages.  A well thought out plot and creepy characters keep our two protagonists on their toes and watching their backs.  Detailed black and white illustrations and maps move the story along, add humor, and will also benefit struggling readers.  Will Gargantis wreck the town? How does the glowing bottle and hooded figure play into events happening around town? Readers will be turning pages to figure out clues and solve these mysteries.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  The plot moves well and the story line is clear and clever, however some of the supporting characters are not well developed.  

To whom would you recommend this book? Readers in grades 3 and up who enjoy humorous monster mystery books and the first book of the series will enjoy this title.

Who should buy this book? This would be a good purchase for upper elementary schools or public libraries that cannot get enough of mysteries and the book, Malamander.  

Where would you shelve it? Fantasy/Mystery Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  I feel that this title would reside near the top of the “to read” pile.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Elena Schuck, Nathaniel H. Wixon School Library, Dennis, Massachusetts

Date of review: November 5, 2020

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