cover image Chapter Two Is Missing!

Chapter Two Is Missing!

Josh Lieb, illus. by Kevin Cornell. Razorbill, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-9848-3548-2

When the young hero of this energetic meta tale discovers that the second chapter of the book he populates has gone missing, he sounds the alarm, teams up with the hapless Detective McGarrigan to find the culprit, and urges readers to join the hunt (listing an actual phone number, email address, and Twitter handle to leave tips—prompts that are repeated several times throughout). As the mystery of the missing chapter progresses, fever-pitched dialogue by Lieb (Ratscalibur) accompanies a suspicious janitor who can eliminate punctuation and consonants with the swish of his mop; a several-page sequence in which the frustrated protagonist does nothing but think; and a chapter from an entirely different book, starring “space president Emmy Sue.” Black-and-white cartoons by Cornell (Lucy Fell Down the Mountain), accented with yellow spot color, keep the mock drama and freneticism moving full speed ahead. It’s a toss-up whether readers will be enchanted or just plain worn out by story’s end, but a few not-so-subtle clues should lead amateur detectives to a clearly closed case. Ages 4–6. [em]Author’s agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.) [/em]