Secret Agent Elephant

Authored by Eoin McLaughlin
Illustrated by Ross Collins
Published by Hachette

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An entertaining picturebook which follows the antics and mishaps of a newly qualified secret agent with a fatal flaw – his ability to be distracted by mini pizzas.

Immediately the limitations of Secret Agent Elephant to both disguise himself and act like a spy are obvious. Yet, the narrator seems pretty desperate ‘Hmm, we can work on that one’. The mission is to stop evil mastermind Vincent le Morte from destroying the world with one press of his big red button. What follows is an entertaining caper which parodies all the tropes of a James Bond storyline. This is underlined in the endpapers which have our hero brandishing a banana in classic James Bond pose.

The illustrations by Ross Collins are a delight. The use of bold background colours and various fonts add to the energy of the picturebook. The fast pace of the story is matched by the vibrancy and humour of the double-page spreads. Word and image work together.

The picturebook provides plenty of scope for an animated read-aloud with various dastardly villain voices. Infant children might enjoy creating their clumsy heroes while junior readers could look more closely at the language used and how it mimics the language of a James Bond film.