Good Crooks Book One: Missing Monkey! is the first book in the Good Crooks series written by Mary Amato and illustrated by Ward Jenkins. This early chapter book is about Billy and Jillian Crook. These twins are tired of having to wear disguises every time they leave the house and helping their parents lead a life of crime. These feisty youngsters want to do some good deeds, but have to be even sneakier while doing good than while breaking the law. When their parents steal a monkey to help them steal, the twins rush into action. Not only do they learn just how much a monkey can do in eleven minutes, they also learn what it feels like to do good.
Missing Monkey! is a fun and fast paced story that will capture the attention quickly. Billy and Jillian are well done characters, each with a very distinct personality. I loved some of Billy's asides and lists that more often than not made me laugh. The interaction between the tech genius Jillian, impulsive Billy, and their parents are highly entertaining. Adding and intelligent monkey to the mix just makes everything that much more entertaining. I think the strive to do a good deed in secret, and the humor ingrained in the entire book, make for a combination that will entertain most readers.
I recommend Missing Monkey for readers just making the transition to chapter books, and for those that like the silly humor so often involved in a story involving hum,ans and monkeys. The story is a fun read, with humor and a good lesson about not having to be what others expect you to be firmly woven into the book. I look forward to reading the second book in the series, Dog Gone!, which is waiting for my attention on my Kindle.