cover image The Big Hairy Secret

The Big Hairy Secret

Thomas Kingsley Troupe, illus. by Stephen Gilpin. Capstone/Stone Arch, $8.95 (128p) ISBN 978-1-62370-033-1

Fourth grader Flo and her mother have moved a lot since her father died, but never somewhere as creepy as Corman Towers. The apartment building is dingy, Flo's Popsicles get stolen out of the grocery bag, and the boy running around in his underwear as they move in does nothing to boost Flo's confidence. But "underwear kid" turns out to be nice%E2%80%94nicknamed Furry, he's a werewolf, and he's also the one who stole her Popsicles (werewolves get hungry). Furry shows Flo a strange, glowing crack in the basement that the former maintenance man, Mr. Rockwell, tells them leads to another world. Flo and Furry see this firsthand when a giant spider arrives, laying eggs all over the building. Flo's smart thinking saves the day, but the crack can never be fully sealed, laying groundwork for future books in the Furry and Flo series. Flo is a cool and collected narrator while Furry makes an endearingly rattled sidekick. Gilpin's dynamic cartoons, a mix of spot and full-page art, help bring the story's creepy comedy to life. Simultaneously available: The Problems with Goblins. Ages 7%E2%80%938. (Aug.)