What a gorgeous book! I opened the package from Bloomsbury and out fell this fabulous illustrated chapter book. You can’t help but fall in love with Fabio the flamingo, a brand new character from author Laura James (who writes the Adventures of Pug series) with fabulous illustrations by Emily Fox!
Fabio The World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective: The Case of the Missing Hippo by Laura James, illustrated by Emily Fox
Fabio, the world’s greatest flamingo detective, just wants to sit on the veranda of the Hotel Royale and drink pink lemonade, not judge the local talent show. But when Julia the jazz-singing hippo disappears from the stage, Fabio knows he’s been served a tall, refreshing glass of crime.
This first story in the series sees Fabio the flamingo on the case of finding a missing hippo of all things. Having been roped into judging the local talent contest, Fabio uses his detective skills to find out just who is behind the disappearance, all the while hearing the many and varied talents of the local residents of Lake Laloozee! Aided by his somewhat hapless assistant, a giraffe called Gilbert who loves to be helpful and put on a disguise, Fabio cleverly weaves his way through the suspects to find out who kidnapped the star-songstress Julia. It seems nearly everyone has a motive, but Fabio is not one to give up easily and notices everything – after all he’s the world’s greatest flamingo detective!
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, which had echoes of many of my favourite detective novels. A convincing setting; a fantastic cast of characters from moody hotel owner Smith the vulture to the fabulous jazz band trio of crocodiles Kevin, Delilah and Tiny Bob; and plenty of suspects – this read like an Agatha Christie for kids! The imaginative plot will keep young readers guessing and laughing out loud; especially where Gilbert the Giraffe is concerned. I absolutely loved the artwork and three colour illustrations throughout, bringing to life the animals and their various personalities. Fabio, of course, is the favourite – who knew a flamingo could be so suave and sophisticated?! The culprit is of course caught but it’s a suitably happy ending with the world’s greatest detective in charge! I absolutely cannot wait for the next adventure and am sure this series will be a hit with young readers far and wide.
With thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me this book to review!