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Cover image for Agent A to Agent Z
Agent A to Agent Z

1st ed.
[New York] : Arthur A. Levine Books, 2004.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
A spy named Agent A inspects his fellow spies, all similarly named after letters of the alphabet.


Call Number

On Order



A hilariously cool visit with the funniest group of spies since Boris & Natasha (of "Bullwinkle" fame).

Agent A is on Assignment to find the spy not in alignment --
Whose actions don't quite match his name. Want to join A in the game?
It might look easy, but it's not. Here's one alphabetic lot:
"Agent B correctly chooses
Blue, and so the Bomb defuses."
"Agent C is Crawling up
the window using suction Cups."
All the way from A to Z, not one dud rhyme will you see.
And it's all drawn with style and flash by the amazing Agent Rash.
Enjoy the mission! Best of luck.
And now this page will self-destruct.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-In a takeoff on Mission Impossible, cartoonist Rash sets up a clever plot for an alphabet book. The narrative begins before the title page when Agent A receives a message ordering him to find a bogus spy who does not use a word beginning with his or her initial. He sets off and makes his way through the list of agents, each of whom is described in a rhyming couplet ("Agent I is Incognito, posing as a large mosquito"). Some couplets scan better than others ("Agent C is Crawling up/the window using suction Cups"). "Agent N decodes a Note/to learn that it was one he wrote." "Agent W attacks/a spy she didn't know was Wax." However, the theme is fun and well executed. The humorous illustrations, drawn in ink and digitally colored, are filled with the stuff of spy thrillers: black backgrounds or frames, shadows, an overhead bulb casting a triangle of light in a dark office, and Agent A skulking around every corner. Small black smudges add texture. The spies themselves are especially ridiculous with their silly disguises, nutty kung-fu moves, and abundant mishaps. Youngsters may guess the surprise ending before this crazy caper concludes, but they'll definitely enjoy the mission.-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

With Austin Powers, Maxwell Smart and MAD magazine's Spy vs. Spy as his muses, Rash (The Robots Are Coming) sends Agent A on a mission through the alphabet to find a mole. "Every spy who is official/ uses words with his initial," the spymaster (who bears a striking resemblance to Edward G. Robinson) tells the hero. "But one spy is out of line./ I need to know his name by nine." Accordingly, Agent A tails Agent E, who "did not Expect/ what happened when he pressed Eject," and eventually enters the Bond-like lair (the 1960s styling includes a round bed) of comely Agent S, who "Subdues a Spy/ by letting her Stiletto fly." It's a cool concept, especially for children who believe they've outgrown ABC books but find espionage enthralling. Rash's deadpan digital cartoons slyly spoof the undercover world as a place where the sun seldom shines and agents always dress in black and sport the same steely demeanor. At the same time, Rash celebrates the aura of menace, the top-secret intrigue, the neat-o equipment (a Jet pack, a tranquilizing dart). There's good fun here for any aspiring spy who's looking for a reason to come in from the cold. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

(Primary) The message arrives via the videophone/fax combo on the dash of his cool convertible: ""Calling Secret Agent A. / Here's your mission for today: / Every spy who is official / uses words with his initial. / But one spy is out of line. / I need to know his name by nine."" Agent A then embarks on his investigation, starting with Agent B, who is debating which colored wire to clip from a timed explosive: ""Agent B correctly chooses / Blue, and so the Bomb defuses."" He finds that ""Agent C is Crawling up / the window using suction Cups"" and runs through the rest of the alphabet until he discovers Agent Z riding--what else?--a Zamboni. The couplets are bouncy, and the illustrations, india ink and Adobe Photoshop, have a bold, appealing quality as a succession of squat little spies (most wearing trenchcoats and fedoras) practice kung fu, rappel down walls, and crawl through vents. Older readers will recall cartoon secret agents Boris and Natasha and MAD magazine's ""Spy VS Spy""--and is that Edward G. Robinson as the spy chief? Kids may not catch all these references, but they'll definitely get the joke, and they'll enjoy investigating this clever alphabet caper. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

PreS-Gr. 2. An alphabet book starring secret agents? With the success of movies like Spyids, it was only a matter of time. In Rash's second offering after his picture-book debut, The Robots Are Coming (2000), 26 spies--one for each letter of the alphabet--slink through the pages, performing tasks determined by his or her initial. Agent I travels Incognito; Agent V wriggles through a Vent; and Agent A must find the Answer: Have any operatives been neglecting their assignments? The A-Z premise yields some very silly missions (Agent Q concealed in Quiche / A roll of secret microfiche ), and Rash's bumbling, poker-faced spies all seem to hail from Inspector Gadget by way of The Simpsons. Pitch-black backgrounds sliced by intersecting planes of color provide an appropriately gritty backdrop for the agents' hilarious antics, like the judo moves that cause Agent to lose a shoe. This hip, hard-boiled romp has plenty of appeal, even for big kids who already know their letters. --Jennifer Mattson Copyright 2004 Booklist