Desperate to make a big name for himself, Inspector Flytrap – an actual Venus flytrap – accompanied by his goat assistant, Nina, is on a mission to solve mysteries, but only if they’re a big deal. Together, the Inspector and Nina investigate yellow blobs, smelly shoes, and missing flowers, while taking time to snack on things along the way.
With short chapters and a basic vocabulary, Inspector Flytrap is a great entry point for independent readers ready to try chapter books. The text is a relatively large font with significant spacing between the lines, providing plenty of white space to put easily intimidated readers at ease. Additionally, most pages feature illustrations – ranging from a quarter of a page to full two-page spreads in size – which serve to further break up the text. The coloring includes varying shades of gray and green, and Bell’s illustrations are captivating in their simplicity. However, the humor throughout the story is mainly found in the destruction of the lives of the Inspector’s clients or their belongings. To make matters worse, the main characters are depicted as both reckless and flippant regarding the consequences of their actions. A good read for teaching children how not to behave.