Undercover by Mark Powers
Ill. by Tim Wesson. Spy toys book 3. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN
(Ages 7-9) Themes: Toys. Spies. Espionage. Undercover is an action-adventure story in which a cast of misfit creatures, a doll, a teddy bear and robot rabbit join forces and return to solve a new dilemma. Overnight the entire Chimpwick's Chocolate factory has disappeared, and the Department of Secret Affairs is called in to help. Mysterious Auntie Roz calls on the assistance of Dan the superstrong Snugaliffic Cuddlestar bear, Arabella the angry Loadsasmiles Sunshine Doll (who doesn't like children) and Flax a custom-made police robot rabbit to discover who is behind this terrible situation.
Auntie Roz believes Paula Dimple a disgruntled ex-employee, now working a science teacher, is the troublemaker. Dan, Arabella and Flax are equipped with unique disguises, android bodysuits and sent in to Water Shrew Lane Primary to investigate. Arabella's anger and attitude lead her into some amusing confrontations. After school the trio ride across the wasteland on rocket-powered bikes with the Science Club kids to the Learnatorium, an abandoned museum. Here evil Penelope Spume, leader of SIKBAG a secret society for brainy kids, shares her diabolical plot to rid the world of four factories responsible for children having fun instead of learning. Her special teleporting device moves the Snaztacular Ultrafun Factory to the Sahara, and has targeted the Bogey Cola a fizzy drink factory and a kids' television studio.
Flying on an A4 hexi-silicone paper plane, Arabella and Dan fly off to Paris to rescue their captured friend Flax held captive at a secret SIKBAG location.
Tim Wesson's over-the-top comical illustrations compliment the action and brings the strange characters to life. With plenty of action, humour, ridiculous characters and crazy inventions, Mark Power's Undercover is an easy to read novel for the newly independent reader.