Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Inspector Croc Investigates by Sam Lloyd (Orchard Books)

Inspector Croc Investigates

Written and Illustrated by
Sam Lloyd

Published by Orchard Books

Sam Lloyd's "Whoops-a-daisy World" books are all new to us, but we can never resist a twisty turny detective mystery, so with "Inspector Croc Investigates" we get to meet some of the folk who live in this colourful land - including a rather superb croc copper.

Inspector Croc is tenacious, and the story starts with him sitting at his desk one morning at "Catch-Em-Crooks" Police Station. The emergency line starts ringing, and it's time for Inspector Croc to spring into action.

Something's definitely going on in this usually peaceful town. A tin of pink paint is knocked over, making a huge mess. A bike ends up embedded in freshly laid cement. A farmer's field is all but wrecked, and all clues seem to indicate that the felon is someone living in the town! But who?

Children will love solving the mystery as you read the story, building up the clues until the answer is revealed (which we won't spoil for you). Keen sharp eyes need to be on top form because the mystery and the clues start even before you think they do - which is a great excuse to dive back through the book for a second reading as soon as you've finished.

Sam Lloyd's easy style, which we loved in Mr Pusskins, lends itself well to building up the story and the fun as the answer is slowly revealed. Charlotte loved tracing the various tracks made by the perpetrator - and we'll definitely be looking out for the other books in the "Whoops-a-daisy-World" series (Doctor Miaow's Big Emergency and Chief Rhino to the Rescue).

Animal-based books are tricky to get right. Sometimes they can be a bit too cute and cuddly, sometimes they just feel like they've all come from the same mould. "Inspector Croc" feels fresh, fun, original and brilliant. We love it!

Charlotte's best bit: Solving the clues (she actually guessed who the miscreant would be before I did!)

Daddy's Favourite bit: So much detail in the artwork, lovely little funny things to spot and a grand mystery that is fun to solve. Oh and watch out for the very end of the book too, Inspector Croc will have a busy day again!