THE CASE OF THE SLEEPY SLOTH

Jack and Bunny are back with a new case. Chums—Bunny is perhaps a tad on the bossy side, Jack perhaps shading into twerpdom—they have repaired to the dock to have their pizza. Bunny warns Jack not to feed the seagulls. “They’ll just linger,” Bunny says. But Jack can’t help himself, and before long, the lingering seagulls eat the entire pizza. As Bunny gives Jack a hard look, they notice a dog, a “weird dog in yellow pants,” mooching about on an adjacent dock. Curious, they approach the hound and learn he is Ramon, who dislikes earthquakes and has lost his lawn chair. Bunny and Jack unravel the case, which involves some meteorological sleuthing, and find the missing chair under the snoozing body of an old sloth, whose been sleeping in it since it blew in last Monday. Rylant has lots of fun with wordplay—“ ‘And what about that name?’ said Jack. ‘What name?’ asked Bunny. ‘Ruth,’ said Jack. ‘Ruth Sloth. It makes your tongue funny.’ ” Best is the verbal to-and-froing as these two banter and debate the scene, solving everything, including how to make a new reader laugh out loud. (Easy reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-06-009098-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2002

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DIRK BONES AND THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING BONES

In this follow-up to Dirk Bones and the Mystery of the Haunted House (2006), the skeleton reporter/detective is on the trail of a missing book by Frankenstein monster–esque writer Edgar Bleek. While searching for clues, Dirk finds a blue, polka-dot leaf; he finds another in the library, only to have Miss Elsa the librarian tell him that Bleek’s books are also missing from her collection. Dirk’s next stop is the bookstore, but when he crosses the Green Lagoon to get there, a swamp monster named Darlene confirms that she has seen the strange leaves before; she then leaps into the water when their owner, a creature reminiscent of the carnivorous plant from Little Shop of Horrors, appears. Instead of longing for blood, Lenore, the Creepus Crawler Talkus vine, longs to read to her babies—aptly called “budding readers.” Dirk’s solution of a library card saves the day while also sending a message to beginning readers about the importance of libraries. Although informed by horror movies, the illustrations play down potential scariness in favor of humor, making this monster mystery a satisfying, accessible title for new readers. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: June 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-06-073768-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2009

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A serviceable introduction to sleuthing for more fluent readers who are almost ready for early chapter books.

THE CASE OF PIGGY'S BANK

From the Detective Paw of the Law series

Archer (of the Urgency Emergency! series) takes on the mystery genre in her new Detective Paw of the Law series.

Dream team Detective Paw (an old dog) and Patrol Officer Prickles (a young porcupine) sure love solving crime together—even when it’s hard. Early one Monday morning at Big City Police Headquarters, a call interrupts Detective Paw’s doughnut breakfast. Someone has robbed Piggy’s Bank! With notebook, pencil, and magnifying glass in hand, Detective Paw speeds to the scene of the crime in his Vintagemobile. The first to greet Detective Paw is Patrol Officer Prickles, who uses his “electronic notepad” to present the existing evidence. Detective Paw individually interviews the bank employees and cross-checks their alibis. Since the safe isn’t broken, only someone with the keys to unlock it could be the culprit. But who? Divided into four chapters, the step-by-step story logically follows the detective’s thought process as readers crack the case alongside him. Though there can be up to 16 lines per page, ample leading helps give the text a spacious feel. Archer’s mix of colorful full-page and spot illustrations aids in decoding more complex sentences. Her expressive, cartoony character design delightfully accentuates comedic moments. The Case of The Stolen Drumsticks, which is different in plot but identical in formula, publishes simultaneously.

A serviceable introduction to sleuthing for more fluent readers who are almost ready for early chapter books. (Early reader/mystery. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1557-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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