cover image Inspector Flytrap

Inspector Flytrap

Tom Angleberger, illus. by Cece Bell. Amulet/Abrams, $14.95 (112p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0948-7

In this uproariously funny illustrated chapter book, the husband-and-wife team of Angleberger and Bell (Crankee Doodle) highlight the outrageous investigations of a Venus flytrap detective—think Inspector Clouseau as carnivorous plant. Inspector Flytrap won’t take just any mystery: it needs to be a “big deal” mystery. Luckily, he gets a few: Lulu Emu at the art museum is curious about a mysterious blob on a da Vinci painting; Koko Dodo’s bakery suddenly stinks; and a rose has been kidnapped from Mimi Kiwi at Snooty la Tooty Gardens. When Inspector Flytrap’s grouchy assistant, Nina the Goat, isn’t eating everything in sight (including evidence) she pushes his flowerpot on a skateboard to the scene of each investigation, however dangerous that may be (“She just shoves me out into the street, right in front of speeding traffic!”). Abundant punning and absurdity, Bell’s equally raucous cartooning, and the trail of destruction that Nina and the inspector leave in their wake make this series opener a “big deal” winner. Book two, Inspector Flytrap in the President’s Mane Is Missing, is available simultaneously. Ages 6–9. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary. (Aug.)