Incredible Edible Meg in The Medusa Eye Camera Obscura by Vincent Vinas
The Incredible Edible Meg series is a children’s chapter book written for elementary and middle grade children.
Meg lives in Crabble Creek which boasts not one, but two brilliant scientists. Unfortunately, one of those scientists is the evil and maniacal Basil Blizzard. His is fifth generation evil, a twisted man who lives in Castle 127 with his fifth generation assistant, Feldman. Feldman is not evil like his master. But because of family tradition he is forced to work for a Blizzard. Even more unfortunate for Feldman was the fact that Basil is not a mad scientist, even though he wants to be the maddest of mad scientists. He is as sane as you or I. To Blizzard, this is a serious flaw which sets him on a quest for insanity.
On the bright side, the other scientist in Crabble Creek, Dill DeMorrow, is a nice guy. His kindness is known all over town and beyond. He is so kind that he is kept constantly busy doing favors of the inventive scientific sort for all his friends. But while Dill is very happy, he is also lonely. So one day he set out to make himself a daughter. He used the concept of the gingerbread man we are all so familiar with, except that his daughter was made with red velvet cake instead of gingerbread. He named her Nutmeg. Gill’s Nutmeg has a special heart, made of a different type of cake and infused with a special birthday wish ingredient. This gives her the incredible ability to grant someone a wish on a person’s birthday. It’s no wonder that Meg is as kind and intelligent as her father. Everyone in Crabble Creek loves her, except for bad guy Blizzard.
The adventure begins when Blizzard learns of Meg’s special ability and decides to kidnap her and force her to grant his wish for insanity. The Medusa Eye Camera Obscura was delivered to Castle 10, and when Dill opened the front door, the camera flashed and turned him to stone. That’s where Meg found him. She hid herself just in time to avoid capture when Blizzard and Feldman searched her home. She overheard their plans and when they were gone, she was determined to journey as far as needed to save her father from becoming a lawn ornament forever.
Humor is a major plus for this book. The narrator’s voice sounds like a precocious child telling a story in his own rambling, ludicrous way, with plenty of distractions to keep the reader amused. Meg is traveling with her living stuffed cat and an animated drum. They meet several interesting characters, and the journey turns into a quest with many detours. I loved those so funny moments.
I believe readers will not only enjoy this book for its humor but also for its positive character building themes. Dill’s willingness to help other people even when it keeps him way too busy, is a great character trait to be emulated. Meg’s kindness and unselfishness wins friends and makes people happy as she continues to search for ways to help her father. Different friends have different talents that become important to Meg, especially at the conclusion of the story.
I can happily recommend this book for children at the third and fourth grade reading level and up. The book may also be appealing for read aloud times for even younger ages. The content is clean with no foul language. Evil and good are clearly delineated. Basil’s bad behavior is bad but not terrible, although I believe parental discretion is recommended before reading to very young children. Overall, this is a really fun book for children.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from an individual representative on behalf of Native Ink Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”