Raccoon Billy Stuart and his multispecies scout pack continue their hide-and-seek through time, venturing back into ancient Greece.
Picking up right where series opener Billy Stuart and the Zintrepids (2018) left off, the crew emerges from the passageway in Belcher’s Cavern and tries to get their bearings. A note from Billy’s grandfather suggests they get to “the heart of the city’s maze” to find a clue that will offer some direction. After a crawfish snack and a crocodile attack, Billy and friends find themselves in the company of armed human soldiers who take them to the island of Crete, where King Minos sends the animal quintet into the labyrinth to be the Minotaur’s next meal. Will they survive long enough to find the clue that will lead them to Billy’s grandfather? And, better yet, home? True to the format established in the first book in this French-Canadian series, this sequel has no shortage of comedic moments (often exaggerated via comic-book panels) or brain-busting puzzle interludes. Unlike the first book, which supplied an overabundance of exposition, this text strikes the right balance. Billy’s histrionic first-person narration is further exaggerated by words set apart from the text in various brightly colored display types. Though amusing, the author’s sticky-note interjections border on distracting. Another abrupt ending implies a third text will soon be translated. A tendentious conversation with one of the soldiers about the date reifies Christian cultural primacy; human characters appear white.
A satisfying second helping for readers unfazed by gimmicks. (puzzle solutions) (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 6-10)