cover image Super Detectives (Simon and Chester #1)

Super Detectives (Simon and Chester #1)

Cale Atkinson. Tundra, $12.99 (64p) ISBN 978-0-7352-6742-8

Atkinson revisits the banter-filled unlikely friendship between the ghostly Sir Simon Spookington and his dark-skinned human housemate, Chester, in this entertaining graphic novel for early readers, the first in a series and a witty spin-off to picture book Sir Simon: Super Scarer. Busy writing a mystery, Simon is annoyed when Chester interrupts—until Chester finds a deerstalker hat, and Simon’s eyes turn to hearts: “Forget playing pretend,” he says, let’s “become detectives!” Styling themselves after Holmes and Watson, and transforming the attic into an office with shadowy lighting, the friends soon get their first case: that of an unknown wide-eyed pug occupying their kitchen. While Simon goes overboard imagining a complex intrigue-filled explanation for the pug’s presence, empathic, levelheaded Chester focuses on the very real need to find the lost dog’s owner. Just as the partners’ differing approaches dissolve into disagreement, the pup leads them on a chase that brings their case to a satisfying—“elementary”—close. “Rendered in ectoplasm, pug fur, and Photoshop,” Atkinson’s unfussy panels abound with pop culture references for full comedic and cinematic effect, adeptly balancing humor with heart. Ages 6–9. [em](Feb.) [/em]