Mrs. Bizzie and Mr. Bizzie work as a detective and nature photographer, respectively, starting from early in the morning, weekends included.
Their kids, Bianca and Barnaby, have inherited the parents’ active lives, Bianca taking care of the family pets while Barnaby cooks. The family mystery is that items keep coming up missing, until one day Bianca’s beloved Chucky the Chick runs away. Thus backfires the kids’ plot to seek more attention from their distracted parents, and the Bizzies must come together to find Chucky and to address the elephant-sized problem in the room. The problem is mostly glossed over from there on; Mr. and Mrs. Bizzie somehow find a way to come home earlier from their work and spend weekends with Bianca and Barnaby, but readers don’t learn how they achieve that work-life balance. For many families, simply freeing up additional time isn’t an option. Nevertheless, bringing it up will make some young readers and their grown-up caregivers feel seen, and throughout the text, translated from Spanish, Merlán gives distinct, memorable details to each character. Mrs. Bizzie isn’t just a detective, she’s an investigator who hides a magnifying glass, sunglasses, and comb in her large hair. In illustrations as busy as the Bizzie family, Millán crams in details of the home throughout that reflect the interests of four highly creative individuals (all white).
A good reminder to keep distraction at bay. (Picture book. 4-8)