Case File: Little Claws

Harper/Katherine Tegen. (Animal Rescue Agency: Bk. 1). Jan. 2021. 176p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062982339.
Gr 2-5–When Esquire Fox and her partner Mr. Pepper, a gentlemanly rooster, get the message that an animal of some kind is trapped on an ice floe, they rush to the rescue. As the founders of the Animal Rescue Agency, they have sworn to help any animal who is in trouble. On arrival in Utqiagvik, Alaska, they learn that the animal they need to save is a baby polar bear named Little Claws. It has been stranded on an ice floe by a mysterious man in a white fur hat, who soon captures them as well. It will require the help of some unlikely animal allies and a daring adventure in the Arctic Sea to rescue the stranded polar bear while escaping the villainous poacher. With its odd-couple protagonists (the daring, but slightly vain Esquire Fox and stodgy, sensible Mr. Pepper), and entertaining portrayal of the animal world, this new series by the Endangered author is full of lighthearted adventure. Cartoon-style illustrations by Duncan add to the story’s charm. The field notes at the end explain the real-life perils faced by polar bears in the face of climate change, and include resources explaining the causes of polar ice loss and how kids can help. This also includes a recipe for mushroom jerky.
VERDICT This lively new series will appeal to fans of Elisabetta Dami’s “Geronimo Stilton” and other anthropomorphic animal adventure stories.

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