Agent Lion

David Soman and Jacky Davis. HarperCollins, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-286917-3
Dressed in a trench coat and fedora, Agent Lion has a cheery disposition and an ardent love for jelly doughnuts—but as a detective, he’s got some shortcomings. Husband-and-wife creators Soman and Davis (the Ladybug Girl series) channel the old Pink Panther films but with an all-animal cast. Clear panel artwork provides plenty of comic contradiction as Agent Lion heads over to Ms. Flamingo’s apartment building to talk to her about her missing cat, Fluffy. “He took the absolutely most direct route,” the text says, while a double-page aerial view tells another story: Agent Lion makes stops at Donut World, Popcorn Palace, and more before arriving two hours later. “Does Fluffy have a trunk?” he asks Ms. Flamingo helpfully, and goofy scenarios follow: “No one move!” Agent Lion says, pointing to a rooftop creature. “Agent Lion,” says an exasperated Ms. Flamingo, “That is a pigeon.” After further investigations, and almost in spite of himself, Agent Lion solves the case. As a bonus, a spread of Ms. Flamingo’s lobby features Easter eggs: an elephant cast as Christina in a version of the Wyeth painting, a monkey resembling Thompson’s Eloise, and plentiful other animal heroes just right for curious readers. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 09/26/2019
Release date: 02/01/2020
Genre: Children's
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