cover image Missing Monkey!

Missing Monkey!

Mary Amato, illus. by Ward Jenkins. Egmont USA, $14.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-60684-509-7

Billy’s parents live up to their last name of Crook, and Billy and his twin sister, Jillian, are expected to follow in their footsteps. The problem is that both kids feel drawn to doing good deeds. “Should I stop my greedy crook ways and become a good person like this old grandma standing next to me?” Billy wonders. In this first book in the Good Crooks series from Amato (Guitar Notes), the twins try to help out at the local zoo, only to have their parents steal a monkey to train as a thief. Jillian’s genius for problem-solving and gadget-making and Billy’s more slapdash tendencies combine with comical results. With his jokes, burping skills, and endless craving for bacon, Billy is an entertaining narrator, and the book’s many gags and sweetly absurd resolutions to the outlandish problems that arise will have beginning readers eager for more chaotic misadventures from these well-meaning Crooks. Dog Gone! is available simultaneously. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 7–9. Author’s agent: Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Feb)