Agent Lion and the Case of the Missing Party

HarperCollins/Harper. (Agent Lion). Jan. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062869180.
K-Gr 4–In the second installment of the “Agent Lion” series, the bumbling Agent Lion assists Petunia Skunk in a search of a festive party, which has been abruptly abandoned at the very chic Hotel Du Lox. As in the original, the trench coat and fedora–adorned Agent Lion proves to be quite inept, as he ignores clues and becomes easily distracted by his sweet tooth. Petunia, sporting a pink bow, yellow jumper, and knee socks, keeps him on track. After a few red herrings (their intrusion into an ostrich family reunion is particularly memorable) they discover that the hotel manager, a dignified koala, had simply moved the party to another room. Petunia and Agent Lion both enjoy their quest, relishing the detours such as a quick dip in the pool and an upside-down thinking session. Text and art work expertly together. The simple statements and contrasting images create much of the easy humor. Pen, ink, and watercolor illustrations delightfully depict posh anthropomorphized hotel guests, ornate decorations, and mayhem in full spreads mixed with paneled pages of action and movement.
VERDICT Agent Lion may be clueless but he knows how to have a good time, in this easy reader mystery that will have children laughing out loud.

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