Title: Fabio The World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective
Written by: Laura James
Illustrated by: Emily Fox
Published by: Bloomsbury
Anyone with links to the retro community will know the lure of the pink flamingo. Laura James premise for this new series is sheer brilliance. Fabio the extremely clever flamingo detective loves pink lemonade in his favourite bar at the Hotel Royale. His side-kick, Gilbert the Giraffe, is terrible at disguises but good at asking questions, sometimes even the right questions.
In the first book, they both embark on the case of the missing hippo. Julia the jazz-singing hippo enters a talent contest being held at the Hotel Royale. During the auditions she mysteriously disappears from the stage. Fabio who is a reluctant judge for the talent contest, enthusiastically takes on the challenge to find out what has happened to Julia.
In the sequel they investigate the mystery of the missing ruby necklace on the Ostrich Express with hilarious consequences.
I love the use of the limited palette in these books. Emily Fox’s illustrations depict the characters perfectly using a three-tone theme of green, pink and black for the fist book and orange, pink and black for the second. Dotted throughout the book are fluorescent pages to match the colour scheme, which will appeal to children.
This series is Poirot with animals – from the lazy wart-hog, Chief Inspector Duff, who bumbles through the case and misses or misinterprets all the relevant clues, to the final line-up when the guilty animal is revealed. In true Agatha Christie style, Fabio looks into the psychology of the suspects by talking to them. It is cosy crime for younger readers.
I would recommend this book for all Key Stage Two class book corners.