Krosoczka, Jarrett The Frog who Croaked (Platypus Police Squad #1) 240 pgs. Walden (Harper), 2013. $12.99 Content: Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G Violence: G
Zengo is the newest officer of the Platypus Police Squad and is thrilled. He is paired up with a veteran detective, O’Mally. Right away they have a case, a missing person and illegal fake fish. They visit various locations across the town and gather clues. Zengo is sure it’s the businessman Frank Pandini Jr, whose corrupt father was brought down by Zengo’s grandfather years before. But O’Mally is determined to keep an open mind, so they stay hot on the trail, visiting nightclubs, gyms, the docks, and more. But Zengo is new and his enthusiasm and bravado may just cost him his new job. Highly illustrated throughout.
This is very much an upper grade traditional detective novel, with a corresponding vocabulary. The characters are all animals and the crime is the illegal fish trade, which kind of makes it a bit goofy. This is a problem because the reading level is actually quiet sophisticated but the appeal is to younger readers. I think older readers would crave more intense danger or crime. Thus why its been on the bottom of my to-review pile for much longer than I have ever kept a book there. I just dread reading long books with goofy animal plots. There is lots of time to get to know the characters between the action, though combined together, seem overly long, and I found myself getting bored. The imagery is cute and cartoony.
EL –OPTIONAL Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.