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by Ian Whybrow & illustrated by Tony Ross

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-57505-413-2
Publisher: Carolrhoda

From Frettnin Forest, Beastshire, the orthographically challenged correspondent introduced in Little Wolf’s Book of Badness (1999) again reports nefarious doings and silly misadventures to his unsympathetic parents. A number of local baby animals having gone missing, along with some from a visiting circus, and Little Wolf and his associates at the newly formed Yelloweyes Forest Detective Agency take up their mail-order sleuth kits and spring into action. As usual, it all turns out to be the doing of Mr. Twister the fox, who with a homemade gene-modifying machine is recombining his captives into such useful new creatures as cat/spiders to guard his digs, a vegetarian lamb/lion, and a succulent hyena/mouse that can’t hide no matter how tall the grass. A Gen-Next e-mailer in the making, Little Wolf adorns his letters and blot-marred handwritten postscripts with creative spelling and made up words—“But do not fret and frown, we will solve this case soonly, easy cheesy. (Probly.)”—to which Ross adds plenty of sketchy cartoon portraits and vignettes. Once Mr. Twister has been sent packing (to return, no doubt, in future episodes), Little Wolf, his friends, and even obnoxious little brother Smellybreff throw over detective work to join the circus. Readers unfamiliar with this import’s first three installments may trip over a few continuing plot threads, but there’s plenty of noodleheaded humor, plus healthy doses of deduction and derring-do, to keep the howls coming. (Fiction. 8-10)