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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review: Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

From the Files of the Platypus Police Squad

Case #1138 Detectives of record: Rick Zengo and Corey O'Malley

Case brief: A local schoolteacher is missing, and the only thing fishier than the circumstances surrounding his disappearance is the smell coming from the bag he left behind. All clues point to billionaire businessman Frank Pandini Jr.--but why would Pandini get his paws into the illegal fish trade?

I suppose I should preface this review by admitting that I adore all of Jarrett J. Krosoczka's books and I recommend his amazing TED Talk to people all the time. Simply put, I respect him because his books are fun, he seems like a very engaged, thoughtful guy, and, most importantly, the kids at my library can't get enough of his Lunch Lady graphic novel series! All that said, I obviously picked up his newest offering Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked with high expectations, and, just as I'd hoped, I feel he's written another novel middle grade readers are sure to love!

This first installment in the Platypus Police Squad follows the fresh faced rookie Rick Zengo, newest addition to the Platypus Police Squad, and his partner, O'Malley, an experience detective, as they attempt to solve a case involving a missing schoolteacher and the illegal fish trade. Complications arise when the clues lead Zengo and O'Malley to billionaire businessman - and potential mobster - Frank Pandini Jr.

A play on the partner cop trope, but for a younger set, The Frog Who Croaked is in many ways familiar while simultaneously unique with its animal characters that allow for a silly and fresh take on the jokes one expects in such a formula. Coupled with the intermittent illustrations, Krosoczka's novel has a definite charm and appeal.

I'll definitely be adding The Frog Who Croaked to my library collection and recommending it to readers of the Lunch Lady series. As always, I look forward to seeing what Krosoczka offers his readers next! 

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Walden Pond Press, May 2013, Hardcover, ISBN: 9780062071644, 240 pgs.


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