- Super Slug of Doom by Matty Long
(Super Happy Magic Forest)
ISBN 978-1-338-05435-4 $17.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 2–4
The idyll that is the Super Happy Magic Forest is threatened by another enemy (the [End Page 460] last being an evil oak tree in Super Happy Magic Forest, BCCB 3/16), this time Zorgoth, the Super Slug of Doom. Now the fabulous five heroes—Hoofius the centaur, Herbert the gnome, Twinkle the fairy, Blossom the unicorn, and of course, Trevor the mushroom—are summoned yet again, tasked with stopping the icky, oozing villain from finding and drinking the Potion of Power and destroying the forest. Long successfully deploys his tactics from the last book, riffing and expanding on various quest stories and fantasy tropes and giving plenty of full spreads a Where’s Waldo like effect, with a special hidden object in each scene for readers to find. The zany originality of the first book is lacking, but a rescue mission in the middle of the book gives an added twist, and the fact that the group can’t catch up to a slug is comical in its own right. The legend-telling seriousness of the primary text is made satisfyingly ridiculous by contrast with the various conversations taking place in the cartoonish speech bubbles, while the eventual defeat of Zorgoth will have kids giggling to no end. One can only hope the dance parties and rainbow awesomeness of SHMF will need saving a few more times to keep this series going.