Sometimes it’s hard to pull off a particular style when writing for kids. Are the kids going to get it? Will they understand the nuances of word choice, the significance of color schemes, the jokes? Aaron Reynolds and Neil Numberman take film noir, apply some schtick, and make what can be a dry sub-genre work for elementary school-age kids.

Private investigator, Joey Fly, gets more than he bargained for when he takes on a young scorpion as his new assistant. Sammy Stingtail is brash, clumsy, and completely clueless as to how to work a case. When the lovely and curvaceous Delilah, a swallowtail butterfly, turns to Joey for help in finding her missing diamond pencil box, Sammy gets the team fired when he accuses her of being guilty of the crime without first looking at any evidence. Joey keeps the investigation alive, conducting interviews with two of Delilah’s ex-friends and teaching Sammy the ropes as the evidence builds.

Set in a film noir world much like the one seen in Bruce Hale’s Chet Gecko series, Joey Fly, Private Eye is played much more obviously for laughs….

This review was originally posted at Good Comics for Kids. Please visit the original post to see the rest of the review.

Joey Fly, Private Eye, in Creepy Crawly Crime
Author: Aaron Reynolds
Artist: Neil Numberman
ISBN: 978-0-8050-8786-4
Henry Holt, April 2009

  • Eva

    | She/her Supervising Children’s Librarian, Alameda Free Library

    Editor and Review Coordinator

    Eva Volin is Supervising Children’s Librarian for the Alameda (CA) Free Library. She cowrote “Good Comics for Kids: Collecting Graphic Novels for Young Readers” for Children & Libraries and is a contributor to the forthcoming ALSC Popular Picks for Young Readers. She has served as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards and the Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics. She has also served on several YALSA committees, including Great Graphic Novels for Teens and the Michael L. Printz Award. Eva is a regular contributor to School Library Journal’s Good Comics for Kids blog and is an occasional reviewer for Booklist.

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