Whodunnit? Officer Panda, Fingerprint Detective by Ashley Crowley
3:00 P.M.: OFFICER PANDA BEGINS HIS SHIFT.
3:30 P.M.: STOPS TO QUESTION FARMER BARNES.
"Good afternoon! Did you happen to notice anything unusual about those haystacks?"
Something's amiss in Office Panda's precinct!
There are some swirly smudges on Farmer Barnes' hay. And then the good policeman starts seeing them everywhere he looks! Rooftops, windows, cows.
Two panda kids report seeing the smudges in the forest, and when Officer Panda investigates, he sees smudges on the trees.... and even on the wily deer.
Who is responsible for this?
And when the good gumshoe returns home with his crime notebook bulging with infractions, he finds the mystery prints on his own front door. Inside he sees prints on the walls, window drapes and even on the cat!
Yep, it's YOU, Dear Readers. You are the ones leaving your fingerprints all over this book. Author Ashley Crowley does a metafictional flip in her newest Officer Panda: Fingerprint Detective (Harper, 2015). Everybody's doing it these days, upbraiding (or sometimes urging) their readers about turning the page, and pressing a button (or NOT), and Crowley's droll little detective has got his perpetrator collared. Crowley's whimsical black and white line drawings, accented only with touches of red and blue, are the main attraction, right down to the tell-tale fingerprint on the moon visible through Officer Panda's bedroom window.
Savvy readers on top of this trend who adore Herve Tullet's mighty best-selling metafiction, Press Here, and Mix It Up! or Patrick McDonnell's A Perfectly Messed-Up Story will definitely get the joke here. As Kirkus quips, "Officer Panda's investigation is not a great introduction to the justice system, but for readers with the right sense of humor, it has plenty of other delights."