Written by Paul Tobin
Illustrated by Thierry Lafontaine
Red Death Tea Society, giant invisible cats, and talking dogs are some of the less outrageous elements to this raucous story of a sixth grade genius, Nate, and his new friend, Delphine. Delphine is welcomed as a friend partially because Bosper, Nate’s talking dog, decides she smells like a friend. Occasionally, Nate does stupid things just to shake up his world. One of his stupid things was to make his mother’s cat, Proton, invisible and giant. Nate hid the formula for returning to normalcy throughout the city, and he needs Delphine’s help to retrieve him. Meanwhile, his archenemies, the Red Death Tea Society try to clock his efforts. Encounters with toads, hippos, and skydivers are orders of the day.
With a smattering of real science and a whole lot of fantasy, this is a great read for fourth graders, especially with a teacher or parent to help separate the fact from the fantasy. The wild humor is sure to hold attention and propel Proton back where she belongs. Because Nate and Delphine have a unique friendship, readers will learn about the possibilities among friends who don’t necessarily spend every day together.