Joey Fly: Private Eye in Creepy Crawly Crime- Aaron Reynolds

This kid was starting to rub me the wrong way. And you don't want to rub me the wrong way. I molt something awful.

Since I process the books at the library, I'm one of the first to see the new books as they come in. Lately we've been getting more comics for kids, and I've been looking at them with an eye for future indoctrination of my own kids into the comics world. Plus, I'll admit, I just like looking at pictures.

So, this is basically a hard-boiled detective story, only with a fly as the detective in the Bug City. Everybody in the book is a creepy-crawly of some sort: Sammy Stingtail, the scorpion who shows up wanting to be Joey's assistant; Delilah, the butterfly whose diamond pencil case was stolen; and a cast of various other characters, insects and otherwise.

There are plenty of bad puns, and lots of colorful metaphors which Joey likes to use and are lost on everyone else. (Think Dan Rather if he were a bug.) A sample: "We were closing in on the culprit like a moth on a flame. Hopefully with less dangerous results."

The mystery is pretty simple and will probably not challenge older readers, but younger readers may both work to solve the mystery and learn something about relationship dynamics at the same time. The characters are sort of stereotyped, but that's what you get in this genre. Sammy's clumsiness, constantly knocking things over with his tail, gets a bit old, though. Probably younger readers will have a higher tolerance for slapstick.

The drawings, by Neil Numberman, are serviceable but nothing really spectacular. It's hard to get a lot of expression out of a character with no mouth and no pupils, so sometimes I'm not really sure if Joey Fly is supposed to be worried, angry, or sarcastic.

Overall, a fun book for kids, but not nearly as funny (or well-drawn) as Calvin as "Tracer Bullet."

Fed to jonathan's brain | March 29, 2009 | Comments (0)


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