Skip to main content

The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo by Drew Weing, 130 pp, RL 4

I don't think I can put into words how much I love The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo by Drew Weing. Not only is Margo just about the coolest girl detective I have encountered in quite a while, she is kind of a ghostbuster. More accurately, Margo Maloo keeps the peace between the world of the humans and the hidden world of monsters in Echo City. Best of all, The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo started as a web comic and continues on line where you can read new chapters! 

The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo begins with Charles Thompson's move from a small town to the big city, a move he's not happy about. The Thompsons are moving into the Bellwether, a former hotel built in 1925 with authentic Art Deco fixtures. Along with a few other residents, they will get to live there for free while Charles's dad fixes the place up. Charles, not much of an outdoors kind of kid, fancies himself a budding journalist and writes a blog. 

Charles meets Kevin, a neighbor who is trying to break a world record, any world record. Kevin tells Charles like where the best candy store in the neighborhood is and what to do if anything weird is going on in your apartment. It just so happens that, the night before, a huge monster crept out of the closet after Charles turned off the lights. Kevin hands him the business card of Margo Maloo, monster mediator, and the adventure begins.

Drew Weing brings a fantastic sense of humor, a marvelous eye for detail and a brilliant talent for world building to The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo. She and Charles head to the lair of a local troll named Marcus who collects Battlebeanz, specifically the Big Cat set. In one of Weing's superb details, he creates names for many of the Big Cats like "Dread-Lion," "Fight-Mare" and "Ty-Gore," and Marcus and Charles have a fast paced conversation about them. Another great scene comes at Ms. Koff's store, a grocery store for monsters hidden under a Quickmart. Weing's illustrations for these scenes are dark and creepy and filled with things you will pore over again and again.

Once he gets over his initial fear, Charles is hooked and wants to tag along with Margo, even suggesting he become her partner after he helps her find a missing ogre baby with a serious sweet tooth (yet another chapter with great twists, this one involving a kidnapper who wears a baseball cap and takes notes all the time but is not Charles...) In the end, Charles settles for assistant when Margo tells him he knows too much. She either has to put him to good use of have him "' accidentally' run into a pack of hungry ghouls."

Best of all, Weing's layered story ends with a few pages from an encyclopedia of monsters with Margo's notes in the margins! Which reminds me, another super cool think about The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo is the trim size of the book, which is exactly like a slightly oversized reporter's notebook! I can't wait for the next installment of creepy case files!

Source: Review Copy


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…