The Not-So-Itty-Bitty Spiders (Olive & Beatrix) by Amy Marie Stadelmann

Published by Scholastic

Summary: Olive and Beatrix are twins, but not quite identical. Beatrix was born at exactly midnight when there was a full moon, so naturally, she’s a witch. Olive, the narrator of this story, was born a few minutes later, so is just an ordinary girl. One day Olive and her friend Eddie, a budding scientist, decide to play a trick on Beatrix involving a large number of spiders. Unfortunately, the spiders get into Beatrix’s growing potion, then head outside. The three kids have to round up the oversized spiders and use Beatrix’s magic to get them back to the normal size before they’re discovered by their parents. Ages 5-8.

Pros: Another entry from Scholastic’s Branches books. The sisters have a close bond, with the witchy magic twist adding a bit of extra interest. Much of the dialog is in the form of cartoon bubbles which, combined with plentiful illustrations, make this a manageable first chapter book.

Cons: Magically enhanced spiders.

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