Jennifer Bell (text) and Alice Lickens (illustrator), Agents of the Wild: Operation Honeyhunt, Walker Books Ltd., March 2020, 184 pp., RRP $14.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781406388459
Agnes Gamble is 8 years old and a keen explorer and animal expert. Tired of her dreary Uncle Douglas telling her she can’t have a pet (she’s waited her whole life and simply cannot bear it any longer!), Agnes decides enough is enough. She’ll have to take matters into her own hands.
Adventure is in her DNA; her parents, before they were ‘taken by the wild’, were famous botanists. Agnes’ luck is about to change. One fine day, she stumbles upon a sassy Elephant Shrew (don’t dare call him a possum, thank you very much) in a safari suit. On her bed. With special instructions. And a plan to install a highly trained gorilla decoy to take her place, with her uncle none the wiser. This is just the beginning, and adventures await as Agnes signs up for SPEARS (the Society for the Protection of Endangered and Awesomely Rare Species, of course).
The jungle will reveal many secrets, and all the knowledge Agnes craves, encountering sloths, and a bee named Elton. But wait! Who is Axel Jabheart? And why does he keep arctic foxes in the tropics? This can’t be good. But hey, every adventurous hero needs a nemesis, right?
Agents of the Wild is a fun, and visually enticing junior reader adventure. Bold illustrations balance the larger text, making it a great choice for primary readers. Perfect for any junior rangers or wildlife warriors in the making.
Reviewed by Belinda Raposo