Recently I was ordering some graphic novels for the children’s collection, when I discovered the Pet Shop Private Eye series. This series is a perfect match for our collection, it is funny, easy to read, and doesn’t have any materials questionable for kids. Since graphic novels are told with pictures, it can be difficult to distinguish what is appropriate for children. We had Nancy Drew in our Graphic Novel collection until it became apparent that the written descriptions of crimes were less disturbing then the visual.
In Fish You Were Here the fourth volume of the Pet Shop Private Eye Series, the absent minded shop owner is looking for an assistant. His interviews are silly, with important questions like on a scale of 1 to 10 have you ever ridden a llama? The various animals comment as different candidates come and go. Finally it seems like the perfect candidate has been found. Viola LOVES animals, and seems to be a fount of knowledge, rushing around to help all of the animals and show the shop owner all the things he’s been doing wrong. But when the shop owner leaves, things change and not for the better. The animals must figure out what happened and hopefully get their beloved shop owner back before it is too late!
This is a great entry in a fun series. I’ve only briefly skimmed through the other volumes in the series, and I had no problem picking up this one and starting with little knowledge of the other books.
That is a good feature for me, because it is hard at the library to recommend books if the first in the series is ALWAYS checked out. With this series I feel kids could start at any point. The illustrations are colorful, the text not too complex, and the story is funny. I think this book will appeal to both boys and girls from second grade up.