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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 152
Themes: monsters, fantasy, detectives, mystery, magic, crime-solving, graphic novel, dieselpunk, fantasy noir
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/Mar/2015
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When Gravelmuck Elementary’s cleaning slimes escape and destroy the schoolyard with their acidic ooze, all claws and tails point to Mr. Snag, the school’s caretaker, as the culprit. Determined to clear Mr. Snag’s name, Tank and Fizz dive into the case, only to discover that the goop under Rockfall Mountain runs deep. The detective duo must outwit their eight-legged principal and survive an ancient war between high-tech janitors and spell-slinging wizards. Can Tank and Fizz find the real monsters behind the slime stampede in time to clear Mr. Snag’s name?

The Case of the Slime Stampede is the first book in the Tank & Fizz mystery series about two crime-solving monsters living under a mountain.

CM Magazine
"A magical and suspenseful page turner that young readers will be sure to enjoy...Tank and Fizz is an entertaining mystery narrative full of monsters, detectives, and magic. The story notably includes many incredible comic vignettes illustrated by Mike Deas to provide readers with a visual accompaniment to the events taking place in the text. The comics are woven into the narrative and function as an aesthetic bridge with the written text of the story... An enjoyable read!"
Kirkus Reviews
"O'Donnell rolls out a slick subterranean caper flavored with a diverse nonhuman cast, topped off with a suspenseful scramble. It's all served up with a quivering dollop of complications related to the uneasy local détente between monsters, who are more comfortable with machines, and the dark mages of Slick City's mysterious Shadow Tower. Deas' frequent cartoon illustrations add zesty incidents and punch lines to the plot. Young readers will slurp up the gumshoes' gooey first exploit with relish. And perhaps a few choco-slug cookies."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The escapades are all a little gross and rather funny, and the nonhuman cast is creative and effectively detailed...The frequent illustrations carry forward the story either with pictures alone or with speech bubbles, and their rich details are worth the extra attention. Offer this to recent fans of Scroggs’ Snoop Troop mysteries or to readers who have outgrown Rylant’s High-Rise Private Eyes detective series."
School Library Journal
"Something slimy is running amuck in Rockfall Mountains and it isn’t the cleaning slimes. This chapter book brims with reader appeal. Fizz’s snappy personality and loyal nature make him a fun protagonist...[Tank's] love of mechanics and engineering make her a unique and refreshing addition and her excitement jumps off the pages, helped by Deas’s artwork. The world of Rockfall Mountains and its characters (gremlins, goblins, slimes, and monsters) is reminiscent of Pixar’s famous 'Monsters Inc.' film series and may hold appeal for children who have grown up with those characters...Plenty of action, adventure and imagination to make it a strong addition to library collections."
Coombs Report Summer Reading List for Kids
"Lots of fun illustrations as you ooze your way through this story."
Resource Links
"The humorous plot is also full of purple magic dust, slimes, and strange creatures. Readers will be amazed to discover a principal with hundreds of baby spider spies, a dragon selling off his treasures, and a school for wizards. Liam O’Donnell’s action-packed text is complemented by the illustrations created by Mike Deas..This graphic novel is a seamless melding of text and visuals in an entertaining ghoulish storyline populated by trolls, goblins, gremlins, ogres, dragons, kobolds, mages and other fantastic creatures. Readers who like slimy humour and lots of amusing and improbable action will definitely enjoy this book."
CanLit for Little Canadians blog
"O’Donnell’s text entertains, and the well-crafted story will leave readers anxious to solve the mystery."
School Library Connection
"This fast-paced mystery series is a graphic novel hybrid...The mix of creatures, inventions, and fear of magic create a layered world. This series makes mysteries approachable for graphic novel fans."
Quill & Quire
"O’Donnell...knows how to weave together elements of detective stories, such as multiple plot lines, red herrings, and the usual suspects. With the addition of graphics by illustrator Mike Deas...[the book] is elevated from a simple middle-grade mystery or graphic novel to a clever amalgam. The graphics...complement the uproarious text...[and] the well-crafted story will leave readers anxious to solve the mystery...A monstrously imaginative and funny read, and a great introduction to a new series."


Silver Birch Express Award nominee  | 2015 | Short-listed
Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award Nominee  | 2016 | Short-listed
Diamond Willow Award  | 2017 | Short-listed

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