We read a review copy provided by the publisher.
Sam and Dash reviewed this book!
John Patrick Green takes the joke “What do you call an alligator in a vest?” to the extreme in his newest graphic novel, IngestiGators. He creates a hilarious world where actual alligators in actual vests solve bizarre mysteries. Anything seems possible in this book and there are some of the most absurd side stories and jokes throughout. Kids who enjoy that zany sense of worldbuilding and comedic storytelling are sore to love InvestiGators and they’ll be happy to know that this book is only the first in a series that will have at least three books!
So, let’s talk about the actual InvestiGators.
Yes, they really are alligators and, yes, they really wear vests though in their world vests are actually high-tech gear (called V.E.S.T.s) with seemingly endless uses. In this book, Mango and Brash are assigned to discover the truth behind the disappearance of a famous pastry chef. They intend to do this by going undercover as the chef himself which, considering they are alligators, is just the beginning of the bizarre set ups in this book.
Mango and Brash’s case leads them down some crazy trails and introduces them to some kooky characters both at their own agency, the bakery, and a nearby science laboratory. It also leads them to the discover that the disappearance of the famous chef, Gustavo Mustachio, may be connected to their past and a devious villain who has his sights set on revenge.
There are dozens and dozens of puns in this book. Some of them are pretty on the nose but considering the intended readership that’s a good thing. This is just the kind of humor kids love and you can never introduce kids to puns too soon. Someday they’ll grow up to be parents themselves and they’ll need an extensive collection of groan-worthy jokes for their own kids’ sake.
InvestiGators is a bright, colorful story with fast-paced action. The illustrations are great and the use of color really engages the reader. It’s a silly world with a fun story that never takes itself too seriously. The humor works, the characters work, and readers can’t wait to see what happens next. John Patrick Green even throws in some references for the parents including a nod to the cult classic sci-fi series Firefly. (Try to find it!)
I’m very excited to think that we have two more books to come. Middle grade humor is a new genre for me. As a kid myself I never really got into it but now having my own kids it is quickly becoming a favorite. InvestiGators mixes that new appreciation for middle grade humor and my long-time love of graphic novels. This is the perfect series for kids who love comics and/or may not usually be that interested in reading. It’s also great for kids who just love
bad joke books.
Definitely have your kids check this one out and, if you have time, read it yourself, too! It’s totally crazy but also incredibly fun.
Dash LIKES this book!
Dash says, “I thought it was a great story. The characters are likable and funny. The puns are great and I love the artwork.” He really liked the idea behind the book and he laugh/groaned every time I brought up the alligator-in-a-vest joke. I think some of the jokes were a little too silly for him but he still laughed and enjoyed them. He’s looking forward to checking out the next book!
Series: InvestiGators #1
Author: John Patrick Green
Release Date: February 24, 2020
Publisher: First Second
Review Spoilers: Low
GoodReads | Amazon | BN
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