#AnEditorReviews: Operation Honeyhunt

Agents of the Wild: Operation Honeyhunt

Written by Jennifer Bell

Illustrated by Alice Lickens

Published by Walker March 2020

184 pages in paperback

pictures throughout with bonus material

cheery eco-adventure

Summary from publisher’s website

When 8-year-old Agnes is signed up for SPEARS (the Society for the Protection of Endangered and Awesomely Rare Species), she has no idea of the adventures that lie ahead with her elephant-shrew mentor Attie (short for “Attenborough”). Operation Honeyhunt sends them to the Atlantic Forest, on a mission to save an endangered, dance-loving bee named Elton. Will Agnes pass the test and become a full SPEARS agent? Species in danger? Girl and shrew to the rescue!

From a reader’s point of view:

  • cheerful cover by Alice Lickens
  • lots of oranges and greens promise nature and fun
  • inside appeals with jungly plants curling around text
  • all the above matches the story – full of adventure and wildlife
  • funny with cute animals, and a baddy who gets his comeuppance
  • plenty of bravery and some peril – but nothing too upsetting
  • reader-friendly with extras for the animal-obsessed

From an editor’s perspective

  • great layout bridging chapter books and MG
  • clever use of lime green and greyscale
  • nine chapters and not one page looks the same
  • designer thanked and illustrator properly credited
  • purposeful female protagonist
  • careful balance of readability and respect for children’s competence
  • focus on friendship, adventure and humour
  • avoids preachiness despite theme through strong plotting
  • new adventure follows in September

 

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