Fabio the World's Greatest Flamingo Detective: The Case of the Missing Hippo; Laura James, illustrated by Emily Fox
The Case of the Missing Hippo is the first in a new series of mystery reads featuring Fabio the Flamingo and his sidekick Gilbert the Giraffe.
The once grand Hotel Royale is falling apart. Where once it is was busy, now its only regular clientele are Fabio and Gilbert who enjoy sipping pink lemonade and gazing out over Lake Laloozee. To try and save the business, hotel owner Smith’s niece Violet has organised a talent show and when talent show judge Daphne the hippo catches a cold Fabio reluctantly steps in to take her place. Sitting alongside a shady looking boa-constrictor and a secretary bird harbouring a grudge, Fabio has his suspicions that the judging panel might be up to no good and so calls in Gilbert to keep close watch. Everything goes smoothly and soon it is time for the final act of the day, Julia the singing hippo. The stage is plunged into darkness and when the lights come back on she has disappeared into thin air. Fabio soon finds himself relieved from his duties of trying to identify talent and instead dealing with something he is much more comfortable with, searching for the truth…
I love a good crime-mystery caper and this one is a little gem. Fabio The World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective is a great introduction to the mystery genre for budding sleuths. With plenty of characters acting suspiciously and all with motives for wanting to get rid of star performer Julia, there are lots of opportunities for readers to work alongside Fabio to try and work out fact from fibs.
There are plenty of twists, turns and surprises and the events unfold at a fast-pace meaning there is never a dull moment - not that there ever could be in a book that is as bright as this one. The illustrations are playful, cheeky and are dazzlingly bright. Emily Fox choosing to use a colour palette made up of neon greens and pinks which might be off-putting for some or make reading some of the text a challenge, particularly on the few occasions where the text is written on backgrounds of neon colours. PersonalIy, I loved the colour scheme.
Fabio Flamingo is fabulous fun and will brighten up the day of any reader. The wearing of sunglasses is definitely encouraged and I strongly advise pouring yourself a nice glass of pink lemonade to enjoy whilst reading.
Recommended for 7+.