Review of Platypus Police Squad #2: The Ostrich Conspiracy by Jarrett J. Krosoczka


This is the second book in the series. My daughter loves these platypus detectives! If you haven’t started this series yet, you can get this book for your Kindle for $1.99 for a limited time.

Read my review of book #1 HERE.

About the Book:

Platypus Police Squad #2: The Ostrich Conspiracy by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Age Range: 8 – 12 years

Grade Level: 3 – 7

Series: Platypus Police Squad #2

Hardcover: 240 pages

Publisher: Walden Pond Press (May 6, 2014)

Genre: Mystery/Animals

Source: From publisher for review

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars


Jarrett J. Krosoczka is back with The Ostrich Conspiracy, the second installment in a fast-paced, action-packed, and hilarious middle-grade series featuring two platypus detectives, perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, and Lunch Lady.

The opening of the Kalamazoo City Dome—the world’s largest indoor amusement complex—has everyone in the city buzzing, especially because it’s going to be the shooting site for Chase Mercy’s new blockbuster film. But that’s when things start to go haywire. Who would want to sabotage the Dome, and why? Detectives Rick Zengo and Corey O’Malley are on the case!

About the Author/Illustrator:

Jarrett J. Krosoczka has been passionate about storytelling through words and pictures since he was a kid. Six months after graduation, Jarrett received his first contract for a trade book that he authored. Knopf Books for Young Readers published Good Night, Monkey Boy on June 12, 2001 and Jarrett hasn’t stopped or slowed down since. He currently has authored twenty one published books—ten picture books, ten graphic novels and his new chapter book—Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked. His Lunch Lady series has twice won a Children’s Choice Book Award, in the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year category, and was nominated for a Will Eisner Comic Industry Award. Jarrett’s TED Talk, which chronicles his journey form boy to artist, has been viewed more than a half-million times. Both his Punk Farm and Lunch Lady series are in development as feature films. While Jarrett awaits seeing his work adapted for the silver screen, he can be heard on The Book Report with JJK, his radio segment on Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live. Jarrett is happily living out his childhood dream in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he resides with his wife and daughters and their pug, Ralph Macchio.


I “borrowed” this inside look at the interior art from the Amazon page:

From Sketch to Final Art: Platypus Police Squad #2: The Ostrich Conspiracy By Jarrett J. Krosoczka

1) Sketch on iPad: I create my sketches digitally on my iPad because I travel quite a bit. If I’m on book tour and need to send sketches to my publisher, I can do so from anywhere—even a Wi-Fi-equipped airplane! 2) Finished Physical Art: After the sketches are approved, I move on to creating the final artwork. To do so, I use a special shade of pencil called Non-photo Blue, brushes, India ink and Bristol Board. I keep my sketches loose, focusing on the major shapes of the characters, then dip my brush into ink to create the final line work. Drawing with a brush will create a dynamic line—as I apply pressure, the line work will go from thin to thick. When I scan in the artwork and set the computer to scan at black and white, the computer won’t recognize the pencil marks from the Non-photo Blue pencil, just the finished black linework.

1) Sketch on iPad

2) Finished Physical Art

3) Photoshop Screen

4) Finished Book
3) Photoshop Screen: The physical artwork is then scanned in to my computer and everything gets shaded in Photoshop. I modulate the lighting in separate layers. I also shade the characters on a separate layer from the background, just in case I need to digitally edit the characters to be elsewhere on the page. 4) Finished Book: Finally, the illustrations will be placed alongside my words in the finished book!

My Thoughts on The Ostrich Conspiracy:

This is the second book in the Platypus Police Squad series, and it has just as much mystery and action as the first. I read both books to my daughter and she loved them. She keeps asking if there is another one.
In this installment, Zengo and O’Malley are out to discover who sabotaged the opening night of Kalamazoo City’s newest attraction. They follow the clues, have a few action packed chases, and even have some well-timed rescues. These two platypus detectives are a heap of fun to read about. I would recommend this series to kids ages 8-12 that like mysteries, cops, and detective work.
These books have great characters, solid writing, and plenty of action to keep kids glued to the page. The illustrations are plentiful and add just the right amount of visual for the age group.
Content: Clean
Source: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way.


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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Born Bookish
    May 8, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    As a huge fan of Perry the Platypus from Phineas & Ferb I love that these are about platypus detectives. I may have to check out book one =)

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