Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked is the first in a series of zany, action-packed middle grade mysteries featuring platypus police detectives Rick Zengo and Corey O'Malley.
When a call comes in about a crime down at the docks involving a missing schoolteacher and a duffle bag full of illegal fish, Zengo and O'Malley are going to have to learn to set their differences aside if they want to get to the bottom of this. Especially when the clues all point to Frank Pandini Jr., Kallamazoo's first son and its most powerful, well-respected businessman.
Fans of Adam Rex, Jon Scieszka, and Jarrett J. Krosoczka's own Lunch Lady graphic novels will flip for Jarrett's series of funny illustrated Platypus Police Squad middle grade novels!
Krosoczka's considerable fan base will embrace his continuing evolution from picture books and the comics-style Lunch Lady series to his first chapter book, a police procedural that shares the same affable goofiness of his earlier work. Rick Zengo is a rookie on the Platypus Police Squad, paired with grizzled veteran Corey O'Malley (Kalamazoo City's residents are a melting pot of frogs, turtles, crabs, kangaroos, foxes, and one powerful, possibly corrupt, panda). The two are assigned to investigate some fishy business at the docks, which seems linked to the disappearance of a popular high school teacher. Krosoczka revels in detective cliches (especially hardboiled dialogue) but adds his own charming, G-rated details: the cops use boomerangs not bullets, the local nightclub serves a mean root beer float, and the contraband that's corrupting teens is... synthetic fish. There's also a frisson of socioeconomic tension--poorer kids buy fake fish so they'll be as cool as the kids whose parents can afford "top-shelf seafood"--giving this gentle mystery a little intellectual heft to go with the chuckles. Final illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (May)Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Gr 3-6--Followers of Krosoczka's "Lunch Lady" series (Knopf) will be delighted to discover the author's foray into the realm of chapter books. This CSI-style mystery revolves around two platypus police officers. When rookie detective Rick Zengo is teamed up with veteran Corey O'Malley, the relationship is off to a rocky start. The two are assigned to investigate a missing local teacher and an illegal fish trade, and all signs point to the docks. Early clues indicate Frank Pandini, Jr.'s businesses, but Pandini is supposedly an up-and-up businessman (panda) trying to improve his family's reputation. Exuberant Zengo wants to make a name for himself on the Platypus Police Squad and not follow in his legendary grandfather's shadow, but his inexperience threatens the investigation. Details such as the cops using boomerangs to capture the bad guys and the local hangout serving root-beer floats make the mystery delicious fun. Burgeoning with detective cliches, affable characters, and lots of cartoon art, the book will be popular with Krosoczka's fans and amateur sleuths not ready for a darker thriller.--Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CACopyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.