Super Detectives: Simon & Chester book #1

by Cale Atkinson Year Published: 2021
Kirkus Reviews starred (December 15, 2020)
The human/supernatural duo introduced in Atkinson’s picture book Sir Simon (2018) solves a canine-centered mystery in this graphic-novel series opener. Ghost Simon is busy typing a detective story when bored human child Chester interrupts. Grandma’s napping, and Chester’s going to “IMPLODE from boredom.” Irritated, Simon admonishes Chester to find something to do, which leads to the unearthing of Grandma’s old theater paraphernalia. When Chester discovers a detective costume, Simon is enamored (his eyes turn into hearts at the sight of the deerstalker) and suggests they become real detectives, “taking names, solving cases.” When flyers don’t produce any clients, the pair happily goes looking; when they find a strange dog in their home, the game is afoot! How did the adorable pooch make its way into their house? Whose dog is it? The sleuthing duo is on the case (though Simon may be taking things more seriously—too seriously?—than strictly necessary...) with lots of laughs along the way. The mystery dog is not the only adorable creature in this book: Both traditionally white and amorphous ghost Simon and brown-skinned boy Chester are equally charming. Atkinson easily shifts format with panels that are both colorful and clear. With simple and engaging text and a straightforward plot that moves right along, this story is a winner for new readers and aspiring gumshoes alike. Readers will look forward to seeing more of this entertaining detective duo in the future. It’s no mystery—all clues point to fun! (Graphic mystery. 6-9)