Eduardo is not just any sheep—he’s going to be an Elite Sheep, and he can’t wait to graduate from the Fairy-Tale Bureau of Investigations.
When he reports to the home office, he’s excited to learn he’s been assigned his own case—and humble he’s not. The other agents’ offers of assistance are spurned with righteous indignation. “Would someone who needs a partner already get put on a case? Before they even graduate?” Three “perpetrators,” i.e. “bad guys,” are trying to kidnap Mary for a zillion-dollar ransom, and it’s Eduardo’s job to keep her safe—only it’s not as easy as it sounds. Bashed, crashed, and smashed, Eduardo finally yelps for help and realizes that being a team player is what being Elite is all about. Pearson’s tough-guy asides come fast and furious and will be responsible for many an eye-roll whiplash. “This here’s what you call a dossier (pronounced DAH-see-ay for all you civilians).” Morris’ too-cool-for-school secret-agent squirrels, complete with sunglasses, clipboards, and earpieces, document Eduardo’s every blunder from the endpapers to the team sports competitions. Pun-filled scenarios that alternate between the Men in Black–like headquarters and nursery-rhyme citizenry reminiscent of Shrek’s cast provide many visual distractions when the story slows or gets too corny. In true comic-strip fashion, the dialogue is confined to speech bubbles, and cracks about Mary’s little lamb abound. Eduardo’s comeuppance is as subtle as a sledgehammer, as is the author’s call for teamwork.
A little too cute for its own good. (Picture book. 4-7)