|Secret agent man goes shopping for shoes|
Author: Wynne-Jones, Tim
A charismatic young boy turns an everyday outing into a thrilling, top-secret adventure.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.00
Points: .5 Quiz: 187003
Kirkus Reviews (04/15/16)
School Library Journal (06/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (06/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/15/2016 Secret Agent Man (S.A.M.) seems like an ordinary boy, but he leads a life of derring-do. Though he appears to be sitting in the grass while his side kick, K (his mom), hangs laundry, he’s really digging for the Lost City of Raisins. When S.A.M. goes with K to buy shoes, he’s hip to Shoe Store Man’s game and watches closely for anything fishy when he ties S.A.M.’s laces: “One bow, two bows. Over, under, and pull them tight.” As S.A.M. moves between reality and superspy fantasy, the colorful, blocky illustrations seamlessly transition from ordinary life depicted in sky blues and grass greens to the imaginative scenes in distinctly noirlike black-and-blue tones. The snappy language and playful atmosphere are very entertaining, especially when K plays along with S.A.M.’s game and when S.A.M.’s new tiger-striped shoes help him come to the rescue when K disappears after a boom of thunder (she’s outside collecting the laundry before a rainstorm). This spirited story captures the enthusiasm of make-believe games, not to mention the appeal of brand-new sneakers. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2016 Any successful mission to save the world requires excellent footwear, so when K. (short for Kay, also known as our protagonist’s mother) suggests to S.A.M. (short for Secret Agent Man) that they go shopping for new shoes, S.A.M. happily obliges, wondering if he’ll be able to choose between “rocket shoes or vanishing shoes.” Shoe Store Man looks a little shady, but when he presents S.A.M. with tiger-striped kicks, S.A.M. knows he has found what’s he’s looking for. Another day of keeping the Plans for World Domination out of evil hands ensues, and the tiger shoes give S.A.M. just enough speed to rescue K. (and the laundry she’s hanging outside) from a thunderstorm. The rather irksome task of shoe shopping gets the golden Bond touch here, as our young 007 takes both the tasks of finding new beaters and protecting the world with equal seriousness, resulting in an entertaining mix of satire and gentle humor. The spy scenes are rendered in blue, blacks and whites, with sharp, angular lines shaping the setting and figures, and blue shadows enveloping the characters. In contrast, warm tones, dappled textures, and K.’s perpetually smiling face bring coziness to the IRL spreads-though darker colors occasionally linger on certain pages, hinting at S.A.M.’s next move. His Team of Expert Spies (three of his stuffed animals) and his code names for various locations in the house (the bathroom is the “Holding Cell of Despair,” while the piano bench is the “Torture Chamber”) are sure to elicit chuckles from viewers. Don’t be surprised if a few kids show up at the next storytime clad in black, flashlight in hand, and, of course, wearing some super-sweet sneakers. KQG - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2016 PreS-Gr 2—Sam's day includes exploring his home, shopping for new shoes, eating lunch out, riding the bus home, and taking a nap. His alter ego, Secret Agent Man (S.A.M.), however, is digging for treasure, monitoring a suspicious salesman, and having a side of snakes with his burger. The text and pictures alternate between depicting a spy thriller and a child's actual existence. The digital illustrations have the look of block prints. Textures, shading, and contrasting colors are used to differentiate between the real and the imagined. When Sam is in S.A.M. mode, he wears black clothing and a gadget belt. Those pages look nocturnal, full of shadowy black, blue, and brown tones. Regular life looks like daytime, and Sam is dressed as a kid. Kay (K.) is Sam's mom/partner. When they both decide to get shoes with tiger stripes, K. shows a Secret Agent side as well. The realistic and the imaginary realms merge at climactic points, with the illustrations appearing either split screen-style or with a frightened Sam shown as a child against the dark S.A.M. background. VERDICT Children will enjoy sharing Sam's clever, creative adventure. A terrific read-aloud with bold, dynamic art.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.