Secret, Secret Agent Guy

Atheneum. May 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534469211.
PreS-Gr 2–A debut picture book showcases young spies in a crime gone humorously awry. Two brothers, with brown skin and natural hair, plan the perfect heist called “Operation Lollipop.” Their mission is to dodge their parents and the family dog in order to find the hidden treat in the house and enjoy it at bedtime. However, the brothers forget to take the unexpected into account and find themselves blindsided in a cute twist at the end. The story itself is entertaining, and includes as a bonus that the rhymes can be sung to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” While some words or phrases might have to be explained, kids will delight in the illustrations that further expand on the simple text, especially the makeshift devices such as “nighttime specs.” Some pages, with speech bubbles and panels showing event sequences, read almost like a graphic novel. The illustrations are set against a dark blue or gray background to convey nighttime highlighted in bright green or orange.
VERDICT This is a bull’s-eye for imaginative children, and the singalong text invites participation at all ages.

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