#41 – Fish You Were Here by Colleen Af Venable


This is number four in the Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Detective Series.

Pet shop owner, Mr. Venezi, hires a new assistant, Viola,  who seems to know everything about animals and some things Mr. Venezi does not know, like what to feed the fish.  Viola is especially nice to each animal and offers the correct food, treats, toys, and titles to each cage.  They think she is perfect.  Mr. Venezi leaves for the day, saying Viola did not need his help.  On his way out the door he said to Viola, “It’s all yours.”

The next day, Viola turns on the shop lights and opens the door.  Mr. Venezi is not there.  The perfect Viola soon begins ignoring the animals and their needs.  She watches television, gabs on her cell phone, and closes the store when a customer wants to buy a snake.

The animals begin talking to one another.  Finally, the lizards tell Sassypants they overheard Mr. Venezi give the pet shop to Viola.  Afraid for each other’s futures, the animals begin trying to find Mr. Venezi.  The Guinea PI’s (Detective Sassy-Ham and Junior Detective Ham-Pants), take the lead and are soon checking out the neighboring bookstore and the ice cream shop.

Finding Mr. Venezi proves to be more difficult than detectives first thought.  Every animal’s wish is for Mr. Venezi’s return and for Viola to leave.  Will they ever find their faithful pet shopkeeper?  Will the animals need to learn how to live with the not-so-great Viola?

This is a fun graphic book from Graphic Universe.  Mr. Venezi is dim-witted and the animals are colorful and humorous.  One goldfish gets lost in their small fishbowl after Viola adds seaweed to the fishbowl.  Worse, they do not know who is lost.  Is it Stevie, Stevie, Stevie, Stevie, Stevie, or Stevie?  The bunnies are addicted to television and really like soap operas. They spend the day watching over Viola’s shoulder.  This slapstick adds to the fun and helps cause giggles to even the slightest of jokes.  This is an enjoyable, fun read.

Note: received from netgalley, courtesy of the publisher


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