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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Grimhilda! is the first fantasy children’s book in the Grimhilderness series, written by Mike Crowl and Cherianne Parks. Eight-year-old Toby Ashton-Batchelor barely remembers the days when his parents had paid him some attention. Over the past few years, George and Sylvia Ashton-Batchelor had always been too busy with their own hobbies and social lives to continue any interaction with their son. One by one, each babysitter had been asked never to return, due to their molly-coddling of young Toby. George and Sylvia are surprised, however, when Miss Pimplay appears on their doorstep, eager to see Toby’s parents out the door, on their way to another night of socializing. When Toby and his toys realize what Miss Pimplay’s real motives had been, they each devise a plan to rescue Toby’s parents while, at the same time, hoping to put a stop to Grimhilda’s dastardly deeds once and for all.
I gained tremendous enjoyment in reading Grimhilda!, while laughing along at Mike Crowl and Cherianne Parks’ clever usage of humor. Toby’s parents seemed to have quite the knack of mispronouncing Miss Pimplay’s name as Miss Pimple at every turn, causing much amusement and enjoyment as I read on. The fear and confusion of Toby being left with such a strict and scary woman immediately raised red flags in my mind, causing me to question the babysitter’s true motives. The blend of comedy and suspense was perfectly timed, and my home was filled with laughter as I continued to read on. Grimhilda claimed ‘ownership’ of all parents who had seriously neglected their children, initially leading me to believe she was somebody good, such as Nanny McPhee or even Mary Poppins, but when it became clear that she was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the suspense in the story fully took hold, as I was left on the edge of my seat, rooting for young Toby, and praying for his parents' safe return. I thoroughly enjoyed Grimhilda! and recommend it to young readers aged 7-14, who enjoy fun, adventure, magic ... and who are not afraid to let themselves believe.