A spy-obsessed boy must shop for shoes (tiger tennies!), and a newfound ability to tie them completes his mission.
Secret Agent Man has a big imagination. In his mind’s eye, raisins become jewels, fries are snakes, and everyone except K., his adult sidekick, is suspect. Together they canvas the sneaker store to find the right pair. The day is fraught with darkness and danger, but new tiger kicks help him roar to the rescue. Digital illustrations, done in a silkscreen aesthetic, bring the text to life. To convey the boy’s thoughts, Won fills the spreads with atmospheric blues, creating an air of mystery and suspense. Their retro styling echoes pre–Cold War minimalist propaganda artwork—perfect for a spy. He cleverly juxtaposes this with S.A.M.’s reality, done in bright, white backgrounds and cheerful colors. Text and art find their comedic stride when S.A.M. looks for K. in the Holding Cell of Despair (the toilet) and the Rocket Silo (broom closet). However, some readers may lose heart when they see how easily S.A.M. learns to tie shoes—apparently without practice! S.A.M. has brown hair, dark eyes, and pink skin, while K., also pink-skinned, has lighter-brown hair and blue eyes.
Energetic compositions and appealing artwork bolster this spy-friendly text. (Picture book. 4-7)