Review by Booklist Review
A multicultural cast of two boys and two girls kick off the chapter-book Goofball series for readers of Cam Jansen, Nate the Great, Chet Gecko, and the like. Best friends and self-proclaimed goofball private eyes (with a pizza named after them to prove it) Jeff, Brian, Mara, and Kelly use plenty of observation, teamwork, and outlandish disguises to solve their small town's dilemmas. Their first case involves locating wealthy Randall Crandall's missing pony, Thunder. And everyone, including Randall's butler, is a prime suspect. Cheery black-and-white illustrations complement the mystery's light mood and quick pace. Although the likable foursome tidily connects the clues around town that lead to Thunder's discovery, what is really at play is their humorous interactions and pun-filled dialogue. Sure, the young sleuths' adventure is over the top at times, but they wouldn't be such entertaining goofballs otherwise.--Leeper, Angela Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Abbott (Lunch-Box Dream) treads on silly turf in this launch to the Goofballs early reader series, named for a quartet of aspiring private eyes. The kids are hoping for a new case to crack when narrator Jeff receives a phone call asking the Goofballs for help. Reporting to a palatial home, the four learn that Thunder, a flower-loving pet pony belonging to a boy named Randall Crandall, has disappeared. A visit to a flower shop, disguising themselves as plants, and Thunder's penchant for pizza all factor into their investigation. Targeting readers who like a lot of humor with their mysteries, Abbott includes a great deal of wordplay and slapstick, and stretches the goofball joke to its limit (Jeff's dog even barks, "Goof! Goof!"). Madden's cartoons add to the fun, and Abbott's clipped, dialogue-driven text is accessible for beginning readers and creates just the hint of a noir atmosphere ("A private eye has to notice everything. You never know what will turn out to be a clue"). The Startling Story of the Stolen Statue pubs simultaneously. Ages 7-9. Agent: Sterling Lord Literistic. Illustrator's agent: MB Artists. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 2-4-The Goofballs are four fourth-grade friends who love a bad pun almost as much as they love a good mystery. Jeff, the group's founder, observes everything and keeps notes in his clue book. Brian builds gadgets. Mara and Kelly specialize in disguises and spotting suspicious behavior. This series opener finds the kids already famous for solving their last case: why pizzas mysteriously appeared all over their small town of Badger Point. Their newest challenge is to find the missing pony belonging to wealthy young Randall Crandall. The chief suspect is Joey Myers, the gang's nemesis since first grade, whom Jeff observes taking out books on horses from the public library the day Thunder disappeared. Mrs. Bookman, the children's librarian, supplies the Goofballs with books and jokes to encourage their sleuthing. The plot moves quickly from clue to clue, enabling readers to test their own powers of deduction. Thunder's disappearance is solved in comic fashion with a nod to the team's previous pizza mystery. The story takes place in an appealing small town and includes four quirky, distinct protagonists; a rival; and a network of caring adults. Bold black, white, and gray illustrations appear on almost every spread. Illustrations also suggest the multiracial makeup of the Goofballs. The humor consists of mostly pratfalls (tumbling into doorways, getting stuck in a chair) and puns ("don't leaf me here"), but early chapter book readers will enjoy this combination of mystery and silliness.-M. Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
Jeff, Mara, Kelly, and Brian--the Goofballs--are a crew of child detectives. In this first installment, they're tasked with finding rich kid Randall Crandall's missing pony, Thunder. Silliness and puns abound as they use deductive logic to crack the case. The characters' varied personalities each contribute to the appeal of the wacky gang. Madden's spot art enlivens the easy-to-read chapter book. (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
(Mystery. 7-9)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.