If you are a fan of the Adams Family, then you may appreciate the darker humor of this series of books by Charles Ogden. The twins, Edgar and Ellen, are deplorable in their behavior and devise naughty schemes with which to trouble their neighbors. In Rare Beasts, the twins decide to steal the neighborhood pets and, with the help of glue, paint, and other supplies, turn the pets into exotic animals that they can sell at a profit. Their scheme soon falls apart, but they are not discouraged for long. The story has humor and irony and is a quick read. Third and Fourth graders who appreciate pranks and naughty schemes will probably like this series. Booklist also compares it favorably to A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. I can see the similarity, but much prefer Snicket’s humor and writing style. Not to mention, the Baudelaire siblings are intelligent, polite, and sympathetic characters while Edgar and Ellen are not. Even so, the series has a certain appeal.