Agent Weasel and the Robber King

Authored by Nick East
Illustrated by Nick East
Published by Hodder Children's Books

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Agent Weasel and the Robber King: Nick East brings us the third addition to his super silly spy series centred around Agent Weasel and trusty sidekick Doorkins. The United Woodlands has been littered with mysterious messages lauding an unknown figure named the Robber King, and a series of thefts have left the animals wanting answers. With trouble brewing, Agent Weasel’s detective services are required once again. Setting off to uncover the crafty Robber King and bring him to justice, Weasel and Doorkins find themselves in murky water and at the centre of a dangerous plot! Can the duo track down the mastermind and restore order to The United Woodlands?

East has humour down to a fine art. From the comedic characters to his use of exaggeration and gross humour, this story is endlessly entertaining. The bulk of the amusement comes from Agent Weasel, a character who is not as slick at detective work as his name suggests. Similarities can be seen between Agent Weasel and Tom and Nick Diamond in Anthony Hororwitz’s The Diamond Brothers series, with mishaps aplenty but enough wit to save the day. East’s use of playful language is a real selling point of the text, with exaggerated and alliterative turns of phrase such as: ‘SHIVERING STICKLEBACKS,’ and ‘HOVERING-HEFFALUMPS!’’ frequently being used at points of tension. As well adding to the fun, East’s style is a basin for vocabulary development and reminds children how language can be stretched in all different directions.

The generous, cartoony illustrations compliment the narrative perfectly by adding a layer of visual humour, particularly within the subtleties of character expression. As both author and illustrator, East builds a visual journey through carefully placed typography, drawings that often burst into the text and double-paged spreads. As a result, he provides an immersive reading experience that will support children that may feel intimidated by large chunks of continuous text.

Agent Weasel and The Robber King is a light-hearted, fun novel that will strongly appeal to children that enjoy comedy and crime. There are two prior stories within the series, but this text can easily be read without having to explore the previous installments. With two endearing and warm main characters to follow and a rich world of animal espionage, this wouldspie be a lovely story to recommend to readers in Lower Key Stage Two.

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