Steven Seagull Action Hero
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Steven the seagull used to be a cop. He's now retired (although Sergeant Starfish might call it dismissed). But Steven's old partner, Mac, needs him back - and soon. A dastardly criminal is stealing sand from Beach City's beaches, leaving them peppered with holes. Someone must stop them!
Several suspects emerge: including ice-cream-selling Harry the rat, lifeguard hippo Lola and Rick the Shark. But where's the evidence? Truth finally dawns on Steven, and criminal mastermind Claude Von Crab is apprehended. Another case is solved - possibly more through luck than judgement - and Steven's honour redeemed.
The wry, snappy comic book-style text and layout humorously evokes the hard-boiled cop genre, while clues to the mystery (for those more sharp-eyed than Steven) are embedded in the candy-coloured, pleasingly deadpan illustrations.