Mince spies by Mark Sperring
Ill. by Sophie Corrigan. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408893463
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Themes: Christmas, Competition. When all the Christmas goodies: gingerbread men, Christmas sticks, puddings, yule logs and so on, fall to the floor in the supermarket, something must be done. The super spies, Mince Spies come jetting in to unravel the mystery.
Told in verses, children will love predicting the next word in each line, as the Mince Spies do some sleuthing around the supermarket to find the culprit. With their flaky pastry jetpacks they hide within the shelves, waiting. But time moves slowly until their walkie talkies come to life, and they fall to the floor with their cheesy breadsticks and whipped cream cans at the ready. Imagine their surprise when they find that the Brussel Sprouts are working together to rid the shelves of all the Christmas goodies, throwing them to the floor with abandon. Readers will laugh out loud at the antics of the Sprouts and sympathise with their reasoning. But someone else must come and help with a solution, and Santa himself appears. All is neatly resolved, and the readers will be happy at the way the sprouts are appeased.
Told in verse form, supported with funny, detailed illustrations the story will have readers laughing out loud at the antics of the Mince Spies and Sprouts, as they almost come to blows over what is eaten at Christmas. Children will love reprising the sorts of goodies they have at this time of the year, and wonder at a winter Christmas where Sprouts are served.