In a marketplace of books overrun by escapees from paranormal lands, here's one featuring a leprechaun, a rabbit-man and Bigfoot that's a breath of fresh air. Cold Cereal, the first in a planned trilogy, is full of magic and just as smart and funny as we have come to expect from Adam Rex (The True Meaning of Smekday).
A rabbit-man meets up with sixth-grader Scott, just after Scott's mother has moved him and his younger sister, Polly, to Goodborough, N.J., to work for the Goodco Cereal Company. Scott has been seeing strange creatures his whole life, but this is the first time that one has asked Scott to hide him. In the meantime, at school, Scott makes friends with twins Erno and Emily, who are in their own way just as strange as his discovery of a leprechaun in his bed.
Much like its premise--a cereal company being run by evil villains--the story gets sillier and also more serious. Rex uses Mysterious Benedict Society–esque puzzles, and storyboards that poke fun at advertising to complement the fast-moving story. Kids will appreciate his dry sense of humor and the undercurrent of danger. Though the book's a bit on the long side, most readers will find themselves drawn in by at least one of the storylines, and Rex's stellar pacing takes over from there. Before you know it, readers might be asking for toast instead of Lucky Charms, just in case the tale has some basis in reality. --Stephanie Anderson (aka Bookavore), manager of WORD bookstore