Agent Moose – Mo O’Hara; with art by Jess Bradley

  Agent Moose – Mo O’Hara; with art by Jess Bradley. Feiwel and Friends, 2020. 9781250222213

Format: Hardcover graphic novel

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

 Genre: mystery

 What did you like about the book? Special Agent Anonymoose and his sidekick, Not-So-Special Agent Owlfred, are discouraged to learn that rival spy Camo Chameleon has solved his 100th case while Anonymoose teeters at 99.  They agree to attend a celebration for Camo, only because it gives them the opportunity to look for Terrance Turtle, who was a witness in Camo’s 100th case and is now missing.  Along the way they meet a myriad of unusual animals, including a newt ‘with a nose for news,’ a trio of singing flamingos, and a friendly barracuda.  They also try out a lot of different disguises – most memorably a palm tree (Moose) and a coconut (Owlfred).

Kids will be attracted to this busy, silly, colorful comic, but there is so much going on it makes it hard to follow.  It is unclear who the agents work for – they are given their assignment from “Woodland HQ” but then travel to a tropical locale called “South Shore” to investigate their case.  James Bond references (Moose likes ‘chocolate milk – shaken, not stirred’) and various other spy tropes appear throughout, as well as animal-themed puns.  The characters have potential: Anonymoose is klutzy and kind of clueless, Owlfred is the energetic brains of the operation, and Camo Chameleon is a double agent with the ability to blend into his surroundings.  It just feels like the creators tried to do too much with this first installment and that might make readers hesitant to try to solve any future mysteries with Agent Moose.

Anything you did not like about the book?  It’s just too wordy for the intended age level, and many of the best jokes will go over young readers’ heads as well.  

 To whom would you recommend this book? Dog Man fans who have read all of those books twice and are waiting for the next one.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  741.5 or graphic novel collection

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  no

 Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Leigh Russell King, Lincoln Street School, Northborough, Massachusetts.

Date of review: 11/13/2020

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