Star League: Monkey Business by H. J. Harper
Ill. Nahum Ziersch. Random House Australia, 2011. ISBN
(Ages: 7 to 10) This title is one of a series that promises to be popular with younger readers. Each adventure in Star League can be read alone and features a different one of this crime-fighting group taking the heroic lead. In Monkey Business Leigh, the animancer, discovers that Aunt Petunia, star of the television show Le Nice Pets, has master-minded the means of training animals to be obedient to her underhand commands the world over. The repercussions are enormous when animal numbers in homes, sanctuaries and zoos are considered. There is plenty of action in this imaginative story, often overly exaggerated, but, with some interesting plot lines, the reader is sure to stay with the narrative to discover the ending. Black and white cartoon drawings, depicting plenty of action, work well with the text as they introduce each new chapter. The writing style is simple but it creates a clear picture of the characters interacting with the setting. Character development is lacking but the story with its twists and turns ensures that we read on, especially with the addition of a bit of fun and fantasy.