Annie Pitts, Swamp Monster

Book 2

Written and illustrated by Diane deGroat
SeaStar Books 2001
ISBN 1587170442 & 1587170450
Ages 7 - 10
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Annie Pitts puts her artichoke costume to good use once again when she lands the part of the swamp monster in a high school student's low-budget horror movie. Could this finally be her big break? But, as usual, things don't work out as planned for the spunky redheaded heroine when the outtakes end up as a submission for America's Funniest Halloween Bloopers!


From Booklist This entertaining sequel to Annie Pitts, Artichoke (1992) is sure to earn new fans for author-illustrator deGroat. The plot is wonderfully silly but believable, the dialogue is snappy and truly childlike, the black-and-white illustrations are delightful, and the short chapters will appeal to young readers. Third-grader Annie and her pesky classmate Matthew McGill have been cast as the title characters in Daughter of the Swamp Monster Meets Son of the Mummy, a very low-budget horror film written by Matthew's brother. Because Annie is positive her role will lead to a lucrative acting career, she puts everything on hold (including a biography report) while she researches her part and creates her costume and an attitude to match. The filming doesn't run quite the way she imagined, though, and the children's decision to "borrow" the videotape and present it as their assignment is a hilarious disaster.

Horn Book Guide The nine-year-old budding thespian is given the part of an artichoke in the school play as punishment for bad behavior, but Annie saves the play when unexpected hitches arise. In Swamp Monster, Annie adapts her artichoke costume to star in a high-school production of a horror movie. Brief chapters, childlike dialogue, and lots of silliness will appeal to middle-grade readers. Realistic drawings add to the book's apeal. CLS

School Library journal Third-grader Annie Pitts decides that playing the swamp monster in a high school boy's video project could be her start on the road to stardom. Instead, she is embarrassed in front of the whole class. Quick thinking and the fortuitous arrival of her grandmother save the day. Annie's posturing and posing in front of the mirror tying out different facial expressions are realistic and good natured. The author's pen and ink illustrations will help kids visualize some of the more outragous details, such as Annie's wild red hair sprayed to stand straight up. The slapstick humor will have young readers giggling.