Posted in Animal Fiction, Fiction, Fiction, Intermediate, Middle Grade

Got a mystery? Fabio the World’s Great Flamingo Detective is on the case

Fabio: The Case of the Missing Hippo (Fabio the World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective), by Laura James/Illustrated by Emily Fox, (Aug. 2019, Bloomsbury USA) $16.99, ISBN: 9781547602179

Ages 7-10

Originally published in the UK in 2018, Fabio – a pink flamingo who bills himself as the World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective – and his sidekick a giraffe named Gilbert, are a mystery-solving duo whose first mystery involves a lavish hotel, a talent show, and a missing hippo. Fabio and Gilbert drop by the Hotel Royale to get a relaxing glass of pink lemonade, but end up stumbling into a mystery when Julia, a singing hippo, disappears right as she and her band start their jazz set at the hotel’s talent show tryouts. Fabio has a list of suspects, and using some old-fashioned detective work, he intends to save the day.

Fabio’s first adventure is an easy, fun read with humorous moments aplenty. The book is illustrated and 2- and 3-color artwork, with day-glo pink and green pages, and pink and green accents to the grey and white artwork. There are a host of animal characters with larger-than-life personalities, including a cranky vulture hotelier and his idealistic niece, a shifty snake, and a bossy rhino. Hot pink endpapers feature Fabio in a variety of poses. Fabio’s second adventure is publishing in the U.S. next year; this is a cute animal series and a fun change for your mystery buffs that have gone through your Boxcar Children, A to Z Mysteries, Cam Jansen, and more. Display this with Alex T. Smith’s Mr. Penguin series (Book 2 just came out; Book 3 is due next month) for your animal adventure readers.

There’s a free, downloadable activity pack available from the publisher, and author Laura James has loads of fun stuff to download from both Fabio books and her Pug series. Illustrator Emily Fox’s website also has fun downloadables, including Fabio goodies and her Monkey’s Sandwich and Elephant’s Pajamas books.


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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