Monsters and Mold (Zoey and Sassafras #2)

by Asia Citro (Author) Marion Lindsay (Illustrator)

Monsters and Mold (Zoey and Sassafras #2)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

With magical animals, science, mystery, and adventure -- the brand new series Zoey and Sassafras has something for everyone! Easy-to-read language and illustrations on nearly every page make this series perfect for a wide range of ages. In the second book of this series, a forest monster shows up looking for help with an embarrassing problem and Zoey is sure it will be a simple fix. But her first two tries at helping him fail and she has a sobbing monster on her hands!

Will Zoey and Sassafras solve the problem in time for Gorp to go to the annual Monster Ball? Each story in the Zoey and Sassafras series features a new magical animal with a problem that must be solved using science. There isn't a set formula for each book; Zoey sometimes needs to run experiments, while other times she needs to investigate a mystery, and yet other times she needs to do research. Zoey models how to keep a science journal through her handwritten entries in each story. Each story is complete with a glossary of the kid-friendly definitions for scientific terms used. 

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School Library Journal

Gr 1-3—Zoey and her cat, Sassafras, love to explore, play pretend, and learn. They make an excellent team. Unfortunately, Zoey is feeling blue because her mom is leaving for a work conference. While her mom finishes packing, Zoey makes a big discovery: a photograph that glows purple, hidden amongst her mom's papers. Zoey learns that magical animals come to the family's barn when they need assistance. With her mom away, it is up to Zoey and Sassafras to aid a sick baby dragon. Zoey puts her Thinking Goggles to work as she researches how to help the dragon. The book relies heavily on STEM themes (Zoey creates an experiment, considers a hypothesis, and gathers evidence), but the story line does not suffer. Concepts are explained concisely and clearly, and a short glossary provides valuable vocabulary building. The slightly larger font makes the text inviting for emerging readers, and the illustrations blend perfectly into the story. Sassafras and the dragon prove to be able sidekicks in the vein of Disney characters, which will appeal to readers. An African American family takes center stage, something not often seen in early chapter books. VERDICT This book is a natural fit for STEM collections and deserves a place in all libraries serving young readers.—Sarah Wethern, Douglas County Library, Alexandria, MN

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

A Mighty Girl Book of the Year
Asia Citro
Asia Citro has an M.Ed in Science Education and was a classroom science teacher for many years before deciding to stay home full time after the birth of her daughter. She lives near Seattle with her wonderful husband, two awesome children, and two destructive cats. She started writing Fun at Home with Kids in February of 2013 and has since spent many late nights experimenting with new play recipes, sensory materials, and science experiments. She is the author of 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids: the best and easiest playtime activities from, The Curious Kid's Science Book: 100+ Creative Hands-on Activities for Ages 4-8, A Little Bit of Dirt: 55+ Science and Art Activities to Reconnect Children with Nature, and the chapter book series Zoey and Sassafras. Her work has been featured on Apartment Therapy, The Chicago Tribune, Today, Disney Baby, MSN, King 5 TV, and Highlights, among others. To read about her most recent late night discoveries or to see more photos of her adorable kids at play, visit

Marion Lindsay has always loved stories and pictures, so it made perfect sense when she decided to become a children's book illustrator. She has been awarded the Egmont Best New Talent Award. When she's not illustrating children's books, Marion paints glass and makes jewelry. Find out more at Marion lives and works in Gloucestershire, England.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Innovation Press
Publication date
March 20, 2017
Zoey and Sassafras
BISAC categories
JUV036000 - Juvenile Fiction | Science & Technology
JUV002050 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Cats
JUV037000 - Juvenile Fiction | Fantasy & Magic
JUV001000 - Juvenile Fiction | Action & Adventure
JUV045000 - Juvenile Fiction | Readers | Chapter Books
JUV002270 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dragons, Unicorns & Mythical
Library of Congress categories
Molds (Fungi)

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