Sophie Johnson: Detective Genius by Morag Hood & Ella Okstad

Published by Simon & Schuster, 2019.

Sophie Johnson is back and this time she’s a detective genius. Sophie swots up on how to be a detective: she reads books and watches detective programmes on TV. She even has the Sherlock Holmes get-up: a Belstaff style coat and a deerstalker hat.


Pretty soon there’s a crime that needs solving – toy lion’s tail is missing. Sophie throws herself wholeheartedly into catching the criminal. She takes her role as a detective very seriously: putting up posters, arresting suspects, taking fingerprints and conducting interviews.

Sophie even has an assistant, her pet dog Bella, but she doesn’t rate her very highly. However is it possible that, while Sophie is busy rounding up suspects, she doesn’t see that Bella may be a better detective than she thinks? This is where the book’s humour lies; there’s a whole sub-plot taking place in the illustrations as Bella, unbeknownst to Sophie, uncovers and apprehends some actual criminals. There’s plenty of dramatic irony in the mismatch between what Sophie’s saying and what’s actually going on.

Ella Okstad’s illustrations are terrific. She has drawn endearing, engaging characters full of humour and warmth, plus a very shifty looking cat. Aside from the main characters, I have a particular soft spot for the antics of a fluffy brown guinea pig, especially the scene where he’s poised to blast off from a miniature cannon!

Sophie Johnson: Detective Genius is lots of fun. We can’t wait to see what Sophie gets up to next.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 3+

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for sending me this book to review.

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