The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop

The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Saunders

Mix chocolate, magic, villains, one immortal uncle, a few invisible and immortal animals, and a couple 11-year-olds, and viola! a tasty morsel that, in some ways, is reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Unexpectedly, the Spoffards inherit a house from Mr. Spoffard’s great-uncles, who tragically died young in a tram accident in 1938. Twins Lily and Oz are captivated by the house, especially after meeting the resident invisible and immortal (and talking) animals: Demerara the cat and Spike the rat. Demerara and Spike tell the children that their deceased uncles were famous London chocolatiers and that they suspect one brother, Isadore, didn’t really die. The twins soon learn their summer will be quite an adventuresome one. By using magic to foil the children’s unsuspecting parents, the Secret Ministry of the Unexplained enlists the kids to help solve a plot to steal their uncles’ secret chocolate recipe and use it to destroy the world. From one unpredictable plot turn to another, Saunders’ lively characters will endear themselves to readers from start to finish. A great read-aloud, too.–Petty, J. B. Copyright 2010 Booklist