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Boris and Bella


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About the Author

CAROLYN CRIMI is the author of four other picture books, including Tessa's Tip-Tapping Toes, illustrated by Marsha Gray Carrington, and Don't Need Friends, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger. She lives in Chicago, Illinois. GRIS GRIMLY is the illustrator of several picture books, including Monster Museum and Creature Carnival, both by Marilyn Singer, as well as his own Gris Grimly's Wicked Nursery Rhymes. He lives in Los Angeles, California.


Gr 1-4-Boris Kleanitoff is terrifyingly tidy while Bella Lagrossi is monstrously messy. These neighbors don't get along until a Halloween dance brings them together. The story of this monster romance is predictable, but told with tongue-tickling prose. The description of the party is characteristically spunky, as "Cy Clops bebopped and the Fang flip-flopped. The Boogeyman boogied while the trolls twirled round." Grimly's illustrations, which are similar to those in Marilyn Singer's Monster Museum (Hyperion, 2001), perfectly complement the text. The characters are creatively drawn with ink and watercolor in subdued hues. Young readers will delight in the ghoulish details like the "Pizza Glut" box in Bella's house and the shrunken heads by the punch bowl at the shindig. This is a bewitching choice for libraries looking to boost their Halloween offerings.-Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

As "the messiest monster in Booville," Bella Legrossi naturally feuds with her fastidiously tidy neighbor, vampire Boris Kleanitoff. Both throw Halloween bashes, and neither invites the other. But the town's monster elite shuns the pair of them, attending Harry Beastie's party instead. Bella and Boris arrive at Harry's in a huff, seeking the host who snubbed them. Disdainful of the "maggot muffins" and a game of "bobbing for eyeballs," the two unexpectedly find "boo" love on the dance floor. Crimi's (Don't Need Friends) corpse-fresh text ("Halloween night soared in on bat wings") and Grimly's (Gris Grimly's Wicked Nursery Rhymes) fiendish visual details make an equally pleasing pair. Ages 4-7 (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"Young readers will delight in the ghoulish details . . . A bewitching choice."
--School Library Journal
"Devilishly clever."--FamilyFun Magazine

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