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The Onts: Secrets of Dripping Fang, Book One    by Dan Greenburg order for
by Dan Greenburg
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2005 (2005)

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* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

The Shluffmuffin twins live in the Jolly Days Orphanage without much hope of being adopted since Cheyenne has allergies that keep her sneezing and sniffling and Wally's feet are foul smelling no matter how often he washes them. The Mandible sisters come to the orphanage looking for children to adopt and strangely enough Wally and Cheyenne are the two they want. They prefer a stinky footed boy; and sniffles and sneezes are just what they are looking for in a daughter.

The Mandibles live in Dripping Fang Forest in a very nice house with bars on the windows. They have rules that must not be broken, but each child has a fabulous room and the twins' first dinner is chocolate everything. The sisters obviously want the pair to be happy. So why is Wally worried enough to break the rules that must not be broken on the very first night they are there? Wally is the glass half-empty twin while Cheyenne always looks on the bright side of things.

Even after he tells her that the Mandible sisters are actually giant ants it takes a lot to convince Cheyenne that they should run away. The Jolly Days Orphanage wasn't jolly at all and a walk through the Dripping Fang Forest could be fatal.

The Onts is the first book in the Secrets of Dripping Fang. The twins are sympathetic, in spite of - or maybe because of - their flaws. The situations in which they find themselves are creepy but lack the horror you might expect to find in the Dripping Fang Forest. The reader soon realizes that the twins are a resourceful pair who will be able to overcome whatever they face there.

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