Friday, May 13, 2011

The Ferret's a Foot by Colleen Af Venable, illustrated by Stephanie Yue

For some strange reason, the only images I could find of this cover were blue, while the actual book (at least the one I and my library own) is green. Whatever. Sasspants is back! Our favorite furry and reluctant detective and her hyperactive hamster sidekick are embroiled in a third mystery. Not only a mystery, a positive disaster! Mr. Venezi, the absent-minded and very confused store owner, has advertised for an assistant. Sasspants, panicked at the thought of having to leave the place that's finally becoming home, gets to work to fix all the cage labels with Hamisher's assistance....only to discover them vandalized the next morning. Is it the ferrets? Or someone nobody suspects? As always, the charm and humor of these stories is in the delicious details and quirky plot turns, rather than the actual mild mystery.
My favorite part is the opening, where Sasspants has inveigled Hamisher into the thrilling world of mystery stories, into which he enters, as he does everything, with whole-hearted enthusiasm. Or there the part where Hamisher decides to come up with a catchphrase for Sasspants. But then there's the part where Hamisher locks himself in his rolling ball and starts making tallymarks...

Verdict: Guinea PI is the perfect series for kids who are moving into intermediate chapter books and graphic novels. It's funny, the action and dialogue is easy to follow, and the print is readable. Sasspants is adorable and hilarious and Hamisher is a delightful character. If you can't afford the library bound editions, Lerner has paperbacks available, but I strongly urge putting down the money for the hardbacks, it is well worth it.

ISBN: 9780761352235; Published January 2011 by Lerner; Review copy provided by publisher at ALA Midwinter; Purchased for the library

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