There is a minor mystery to be solved in this imported (uncredited) translation from the Dutch.
The chief of police sends Officer Pete to the post office with a letter marked “TOP SECRET.” As Pete leaves, a hook mysteriously lifts his police cap off his head. (Could it be from a fishing rod? The answer will be revealed later.) Pete and his trusty dog, Sniffer, spend the rest of the book searching for his hat throughout the small European community, using all the police vehicles at his disposal: a car, a motorcycle, and even a helicopter. He also dons an undercover disguise, but despite the visual clues planted for observant young readers in every double-page spread, Pete can’t seem to find his hat. His colleagues, spotted everywhere, are planning a special celebration for him, and many of the objects in the concluding party scene can be found in earlier pictures. In the colorful, animated cartoon-style illustrations, the town and the round-eyed, childlike police officers and other people resemble a Playmobil set; Pete and the chief of police are both white, but other residents of the town and one officer are people of color. Young readers may be engaged in the possibility of imaginative play with these community helpers, but the text is a bit long and wordy for the intended audience.
Appealing to kids entranced with uniforms and vehicles but inconsequential to the rest. (Picture book. 4-6)