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Joey Fly Private Eye in Creepy Crawly Crime Paperback – April 14, 2009

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6–Hardboiled insect detective Joey Fly and his assistant, a young scorpion named Sammy Stingtail, search for a missing diamond pencil box belonging to Delilah, a femme fatale swallowtail butterfly. Simple, whimsical drawings and humorous dialogue give the book child appeal. The illustrations&' gray and sepia tones reference film noir, but this may be lost on younger readers, many of whom probably prefer more color in their comics. The clever writing doesn&'t keep the story from lagging at times: the case of a missing pencil box, in the end, can&'t sustain the most gripping narrative. Unique and witty, but not essential.–Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In a city totally inhabited by insects, Joey Fly is a private eye combating crime for a fee (which for a housefly is usually crumbs). Recently, Joey reluctantly hired a junior partner, a tough but clumsy scorpion named Sammy Stingtail. Together, the two are hired by a damsel in distress, the beautiful but airheaded butterfly Delilah, to recover her diamond pencil box. Delilah suspects her former friend Gloria the ladybug, but upon further investigation, Joey and Sammy have other ideas. Young readers will be amused by this noir-type story filled with classic detective dialogue and swarms of insect humor. The plot, characters, and setting in this graphic novel are all inspired from the novels of hardboiled-detective legends Hammett and Chandler, but Reynolds expertly injects a buggy layer of hilarious high jinks. Numberman takes it one step further by using the dark color schemes most associated with film noir combined with clean, detailed art. Kids will get caught in the web of this classic mystery cleverly disguised as a simple bug’s tale. Grades 3-5. --Kevin King --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 450 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; 1 edition (April 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805087869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805087864
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Joey Fly, Private Eye is a spoof of private eye movies for children, which is an odd idea when you think about it: How many kids have read Mickey Spillane novels or seen The Maltese Falcon? Do they get the clichés that are being parodied? Do they even know how the dial phone on Joey Fly's desk works?

The kids who read it may not get the references, but they will probably like this book, which delivers both a good mystery and a good laugh.

The plot is pretty straightforward. After a bit of business in which Joey hires a clumsy scorpion, Sammy Stingtail, as his assistant, the requisite lovely lady comes into the office and hires Joey to find her missing diamond pencil box. Delilah, a swallowtail butterfly, fingers a ladybug friend, Gloria, for the crime. It's kind of amazing that it takes 96 pages to figure out that the thief is in fact Delilah herself, since her story is fishy from the get-go (and everyone who has seen a noir movie knows that the beautiful dame with the long legs is nothing but trouble).

And that's the one rap on Joey Fly: The story moves very slowly. We follow the detectives as they visit the scene of the crime and interview all the principals, then finally bring them all together for the big reveal, but the pacing is very slow and starts to seem repetitive after a while.

On the plus side, the book has lots of humor, both verbal and slapstick. Sammy's tail is a running joke, as is Delilah's dumbness. The voiceover, provided in text boxes, not only keeps the story on track but supplies a steady stream of bug-themed wisecracks: "The facts were starting to line up like centipedes at a shoe sale." "I was putting the pieces together faster than a silkworm at a quilting bee." You get the idea.
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Format: Paperback
Joey Fly was a private eye and living in the city he had plenty of business because as he claimed, "Crime sticks to this city like a one-winged fly on a fifty-cent swatter." He was lounging in his office waiting for another chump to show up and hand him a case (for a price that is), when all of a sudden unexpected guest burst through his door. It was a kid named Sammy Stingtail. He was a "crusty arachnid type" scorpion who was "young, barely hatched" and looking for work. He looked like a royal pain and as green as they come, but Fly figured he might as well give him a chance.

Fly had "more cases than a flea has dogs" and before you know it a swallowtail butterfly came through the door with a case. She was a great looking dame named Delilah AND was missing a diamond pencil box. He could see she was "one ant short of a picnic," but a client was a client and he was going to take the case. "Give me the long and short of it." She accused Gloria, a ladybug, of stealing it because she had "always been jealous of it." Between his clumsy assistant, who seemed to wreck everything in sight with his tail, and this dame he had his work cut out for him. It was time to gather some evidence. Flittany, Delilah's best friend had been talking to Gloria all night at the party . . .

Graphic novels are difficult to judge. Some you think young people will grab and rave over, sit on the shelves while others WOW them. This story of Joey Fly and his young assistant was absolutely hysterical. There were numerous lines that had funny little twists to them that appeared to be takeoffs on old television detective shows like Dragnet. "The facts were starting to line up like centipedes at a shoe sale.
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A Kid's Review on November 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
My 7 year old son LOVED this book. We read it together (he read one page; i read one). He got most of the jokes and was begging to reread it. He was so excited he has been asking daily when the new book comes out. We are counting down the days!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is so wonderful. The story is so amusing with the bugs depicting the characters in this book. The art work is fun and imaginative and if you tell the story to a child it is fun to give voices to the characters. There is so much reality to the story of a long ago time with adorable and curious bugs. The punch lines are old, but with wit and humor.This is a fun book.

I gave this to a 6 year old boy and he loves it. Especially if I read it to him.
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