"6:32 a.m. This is the farm. My partner, Bill, and I were working the barnyard shift. It was peaceful. Quiet. Then we got the call."
Much of this fowl-filled homage to Dragnet
(DUM DE DUM DUM!) will be lost on kids--and a few grownups, for that matter. But that doesn't make this straight-faced send-up of that famous crime-partner show--and a dozen-odd fairy tales thrown in for good measure--any less funny.
"So you're saying you were robbed, is that right, ma'am? What exactly is missing from the nest, ma'am? Eggs, ma'am? Chicks, ma'am?" But it turns out that it's peppers that have gone missing--a peck of "perfect purple, almost-pickled peppers." But nobody was talking: "We had Horner in the corner and were trying to make Little Boy Blue quack." Then our intrepid pair of web-footed investigators gets a break in the case when a tub of "tartest tasty tomahtoes" turns up missing. DUM DE DUM DUM!
It's just more wit from the wonderful Margie Palatini, who brought us Piggie Pie and Zoom Broom, backed up on this assignment by the spirited illustrations of Richard Egielski. (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes
From Publishers Weekly
This punny parody freely alludes to the TV drama Dragnet, as two "ducktectives" attempt to "quack the case" of several robberies on a farm. Each scene opens with a time of day and location, noted in hard-boiled bold print. A blotchy typewriter font suggests the gruff voice of Ducktective Web, a white-feathered, fedora-capped "flatfoot." Web reports that a chicken's "peck of... perfect purple almost-pickled peppers" has been stolen, a sheep is missing some lettuce and Little Boy Blue has an alibi (oddly, potential pepper-pincher Peter Piper goes unmentioned). Headquarters swarms with storybook characters: "A miss named Muffet had just been tossed off her tuffet and a gal named Peep was missing some sheep. I noticed that three little kittens had lost their mittens. They began to cry." Ultimately, in a rather anticlimactic finale, a "dirty rat" (literally) gets the rap. Egielski (Jazper; Hey, Al) sets the police drama in a spotless barnyard, where a "wanted" poster pictures a wolf, and three blind mice lodge a complaint about their bandaged behinds. The illustrator's bright sky-blues and straw-golds counteract the claustrophobic, mock-tough narration. From the intermittent "dum de dum dum" sound effect to the catch-phrase "Book him, Ducko," Palatini (Ding Dong Ding Dong) mimics classic detective television and adds a nursery-rhyme twist. But the gags may be best appreciated by an adult audience. Ages 4-7.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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