The Dreadful Fluff

Aaron Blabey. Puffin Australia (IPG/Trafalgar Sq., dist.), $9.99 paper (32p) ISBN 978-0-14-350700-0
Bellybutton lint turns into a living nightmare for a type-A schoolgirl not used to such imperfections. Serenity Strainer prides herself on being perfect, so it’s bad enough when she discovers some lint in her bellybutton. Worse yet, “It was evil.” With a menacing glare, clawlike limbs, and razor-sharp teeth, the lint—promptly dubbed the Dreadful Fluff—goes on a domestic rampage, growing in size as it absorbs more dust and gulps down Serenity’s cat, mother, and older sibling (“Serenity’s big brother never knew what hit him”). When the Dreadful Fluff sets its sights on her baby sister, a vacuum-wielding Serenity shifts into warrior mode to save her family. Blabey’s expressive cartoons bring a horror-movie vibe to a story that’s best suited to children looking for a good scare and lots of gross-out humor. A final scene reveals that the incident has taught Serenity how to “deal with” such menaces: by impaling them like butterflies, mounting their heads to the wall, and preserving them in jars. Beyond being a gruesome ending, it leaves the point of the book unclear—is the way to handle imperfections to kill them dead? Ages 3–5. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/09/2017
Release date: 11/01/2017
Genre: Children's
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