Friday, March 24, 2017

Inspector Flytrap by Tom Angleberger, illustrated by Cece Bell

This is one of the new series I added to our beginning chapter series this year. Angleberger teams up with Bell to present a ridiculous mystery series full of wacky problems and even sillier solutions.

Inspector Flytrap of the Flytrap Detective Agency only takes on really BIG problems. Fortunately, there's no shortage, from a mysterious art clue to a giant stinky shoe. Along the way Inspector Flytrap has to deal with his assistant, Nina, eating the clues (she's a goat), clients who don't appreciate his genius, and all manner of craziness.

The illustrations are in black, green, and gray with photographs in collage format. The text is a good match for intermediate chapter book readers, not quite as challenging as Magic Tree House, but harder than an easy reader or Branches title.

The mysteries are, at best, peripheral to the silly jokes and hijinks that fill the story. Nina eats evidence, Inspector Flytrap muses on his need for movement and excitement. A giant peg-legged pirate appears, Flytrap and Nina eat lunch from the garbage. The story ends with the last case, involving a missing rose, which turns out to be the perfect partner for Inspector Flytrap!

Verdict: I thought kids would enjoy the wacky humor of this series and it had ok circulation. When I used it in book club several kids were interested and liked the idea of the silly story. I don't think it will be a super popular title, but if you have a large beginning chapter collection it's a good addition.

ISBN: 9781419709654; Published 2016 by Abrams; Purchased for the library

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