Who will be the Magician of the Year? Will honesty or treachery win the day?
Oscar the monkey magician is flattered to be nominated by the readers of Magic Monthly for the title of Magician of the Year. Goateed rival Milton is nominated too. Worried that Oscar will beat him and thereby deprive him of a perfect set of trophies, Milton vows to trick Oscar and ruin his performances. But every prank Milton tries backfires, and audiences think Oscar is even more magnificent than ever. Milton decides to embarrass Oscar by hypnotizing him into stealing the priceless Blue Diamond Necklace. Oscar’s caught, but he convinces Mayday the detective to look deeper into the case. When Mayday too is trapped by Milton’s hypnotic monocle, it’s a good thing officers Charlie and Joe are on the case too! Porter’s characters from The Thunderbolt Express (2013) return in this tale of monkey mystery and malfeasance. The current tale parallels the previous in that this too includes a crocodile-infested river (well, a jazz band of crocodiles). Back too are Porter’s big-eyed monkeys in their spiffy suits and disguises, featured in brightly colored, full-bleed illustrations painted on pine.
A fine first caper for budding fans of mystery, monkeys, or magic. (Picture book. 4-8)